Friday, 27 March 2015


I was in Sheffield this evening at Longley Park Sixth Form College to attend their celebration evening with guest speakers David Blunkett MP and Councillor Harry Harpham.
Mo Nesbit, the college principal, introduced the young people and said that this was the tenth awards evening since the opening of this college. When it was opened the area had one of the worst rate of progression to higher education in the country and over the last ten years over 3000 of its students had progressed to universities. David Blunkett has attended all ten celebrations and was instrumental in establishing this beacon of academic excellence in one of Sheffield's most deprived areas. He is standing down at this election, after being the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough from 1987 to 2015. He has been blind since birth, and rose to become Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary in Tony Blair's Cabinet following Labour's victory in the 1997 general election. 

It was great to be able to celebrate the achievements of so many young people and to listen to David Blunkett reflecting on his experiences and lunch with the Queen. The other highlights of the evening were performances by two talented young artists, Jack Tibble and Jordanna Paharsingh, who clearly have a great future ahead of them.

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