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Teacher rubs shoulders with political heavyweights for work with deprived children

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

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A PRIMARY school teacher rubbed shoulders with political heavyweights at a ceremony to celebrate her work with deprived children.

Anglesey Primary Academy teacher Natalie Jones was one of 18 mentors invited to number 10 Downing Street as an ambassador for the charity Teach First.

The 23-year-old was chosen for her work on the charity’s scheme to improve aspirations of children from poor backgrounds.

Miss Jones shared company with Prime Minister David Cameron and Education Secretary Michael Gove.

She said: “It was an amazing experience, I felt like such a small fish because people were talking about these amazing things they have done.”

Miss Jones has used innovative methods to improve literacy rates, which other teachers at the academy have adopted since she became a teacher two years ago.

She said high numbers of non-English speaking pupils and children with special needs pose challenges at the academy.

But she added that the diversity of pupils’ backgrounds added to the rich fabric of the school making it a fulfilling place to work at.

She said: “It is a very deprived area, the school has 75 per cent of children who are not British and don’t speak English which has its own challenges, but also advantages.

“It is an enormous primary school so it can be a challenging place to work, but it’s a rewarding job which is why I enjoy it.”

Teach First works with graduates to teach in low-income communities to strengthen the aspirations of children.

Miss Jones added: “It’s about making the children aware of what opportunities are available to them when they sometimes have low aspirations about their futures.

“It’s a wonderful scheme that makes a difference and something people should care about.

“It’s about trying to combat social injustice because these children deserve equal opportunities.”

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