Priti Patel joins PCC candidate on visit to Bedford Academy

Priti Patel visited Bedford Academy with Festus Akinbusoye during his campaign

The Home Secretary made a visit to a Bedford school this week, accompanied by Festus Akinbusoye, the Conservative Party candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Priti Patel was in Bedford to join Mr Akinbusoye on a visit to Bedford Academy yesterday (Thursday) to meet some of the staff and students and discuss the impact of Covid-19 and the recovery plans to support students with their education.

Meeting students, Ms Patel advised them that in order to succeed, “…it’s hard work, nothing in life is easy and it’s all about being focused, determined and wanting to do a good job for the people and communities you serve.”

Members of the senior leadership team including headteacher, Chris Deller and deputy head, Pete Roberts, were joined by David Morris, the CEO of Heart Academies Trust, to share ‘The BA Way’ – the school’s vision and values.

The Home Secretary (right) with Bedford Academy headteacher, Chris Deller and David Morris, CEO of Heart Academies Trust

Mr Deller explained how ‘The BA Way’ is an integral part of the daily life at Bedford Academy, outlining expectations from everyone whilst they are in the school community and reducing exclusion rates significantly over the last two years.

Members of the school’s Student Voice shared the positives and negatives they’ve experienced throughout the pandemic, highlighting the support they were given by the school.

Priti Patel and Festus Akinbusoye heard how Bedford Academy has supported students in overcoming the unique challenges they face as young people in society.

Members of the Student Voice share their Covid-19 experiences with the Home Secretary and PCC candidate.
“It was a pleasure to invite Home Secretary Priti Patel to meet staff and pupils at the Bedford Academy,” said Festus, who is standing as the Conservative candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner election on 6 May.
“During the visit, we heard of the remarkable turnaround of the school having cut exclusion rates by 80% in three years.
“There is evidence which shows excluded pupils being prime targets for county line gangs and other forms of criminal or sexual exploitation.
“I commend the staff and management team at Bedford Academy for their fantastic work in helping to keep more of our young people in education. If elected as Bedfordshire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner, I am fully committed to doing all I can to support our schools and young people.”

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