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Rupa Huq remembers her childhood days
For the next few months (until May's Election) Ealing Central and Acton parliamentary candidates will introduce themselves and write about issues that affect them.
Labour's Parliamentary candidate, Rupa Huq goes back to school...
As a mum myself the school run is a daily reality for me but it was in my capacity as Labour Parliamentary party candidate for Ealing Central and Acton rather than as a parent that I returned to my old school, Montpelier Primary, just north of Ealing Broadway last week to appear before the pupils of the school council.
It was a great experience to be back at the institution I attended daily from 1976 – 1983 as well as going back to visit Notting Hill and Ealing last year where I studied from 1983 – 1990.
The show’s sci-fi feature The Boy From Space became a cult classic and the BFI re-released the DVD last year due to popular demand. Indeed my brother in law Charlie Brooker tracked it down and got it for Christmas for me, which was a real treat. My visit last week took in a guided tour including of that same classroom where the footage was shot. Until my invitation last week, that was the most recent memory I had of my primary days.
At Montpelier students from all the year-groups asked wide-ranging questions with obvious enthusiasm with a smattering of budding Paxmans in there. I was impressed by all. The school council is a great institution as pupils learn about representation and democracy, running for competitive election to get on there. With each class sending pupils to it, it's a microcosm of the House of Commons.
Among the topics that arose were the A and E closures locally and lots of questions about my own time as a student there. I’m the middle child of three so there was a Huq at Montpelier for many years from 1970, when my older sister Nutun went, onwards. Indeed her own youngest son my nephew left only last year, so there was a Huq connection right up to 2014. As my sisters and I are mums of boys (my mum jokes that she got 5 grandsons from 3 girls) the same cannot be said for the all-girls’ Notting Hill. If I am elected there will be again as I will strive to represent both the whole Montpelier and Notting Hill community in parliament so will always fight for the best for them.
Education across Ealing borough is rapidly expanding. Acton has seen the new Ark academy behind the old swimming baths with another Ark primary opening later in the year. Both at Notting Hill Girls and at Montpelier however I’ve seen a mixture of continuity and change. The fundamental ethos of each, to encourage educational excellence in a diverse environment, remains the same. But under the visionary headship of Am Rai of Montpelier and Lucinda Hunt at Notting Hill both the buildings have expanded dramatically and become very popular. In both cases there’s only been one head-teacher in between my days there in the 1970s/80s and the current head.
You can take the girl out of the schools but you can’t take those schools out of the girl.
29th January 2015