Deputy Prime Minister visits Brighton academy and bilingual free school

Posted On 26 Sep 2012 at 4:41 am

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited two Brighton schools yesterday (Tuesday 25 September).

He was accompanied by his wife Miriam González Durántez on the trip to Falmer to see the newly opened Brighton and Hove Bilingual Primary School.

Mr Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, spoke in Spanish and English when he met pupils and staff from the new free school where pupils are immersed in both languages.

He then took part in a question and answer session with pupils from the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA).

He told pupils the story of a fidgety girl called Gillian Lynne who struggled at school and whose mother took her to a doctor in despair.

The doctor said that her daughter didn’t need treatment. Instead, he recommended dancing lessons. She became one of the leading dancers and choreographers of her generation.

Mr Clegg told the pupils: “Even if you haven’t found your feet yet, each and every single person’s got talents they can build on.

“I had no idea I was going to become a politician. But I used to get annoyed by what I was hearing politicians saying on the television just as you probably sometimes get annoyed by what you hear me say on the telly.”

Asked about his motivation, he praised the motives of politicians of all parties even though he didn’t always agree with their policies.

He said: “Politicians believe tomorrow can be better than today.”

He said that his job was a privilege, particularly when he was able to turn policy ideas into reality such as bringing in the pupil premium to help fund schools.

He was asked about his own university education – studying archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge – and how it was funded.

And he spelt out the changes to fees that have mired him and his party in controversy.

He was spared any questions about his “sorry” speech – about tuition fees – being turned into a song.

Mr Clegg asked the children whether they wanted to go to university and principal Phil Hogg looked on proudly as almost all her pupils raised their hands.

He also asked them what they wanted to do for a career.

Some wanted to be lawyers, like Mrs Clegg. Other answers included archaeologist, teacher, pilot, fashion designer, soldier and even one potential politician.

Mrs Clegg said: “I’m a little nervous because normally the politician’s wife smiles nicely and stands in the background.”

One pupil asked her advice about becoming a lawyer. She said: “Study subjects that teach you how to think in a logical manner.”


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