Netherthorpe class budies send out clear messages

Schoolchildren at Netherthorpe are taking part in the Send ALL My Friends to School campaign to remind world leaders that it is children with disabilities that are missing out most on their right to an education.

In 2000 world leaders promised universal primary education by 2015, but with only a year to go 57 million children are still out of school and over a third of them have a disability.

Netherthorpe pupils have made hundreds of colourful ‘buddy’ figures to represent the estimated 24 million children with disabilities that are missing out on school. Pupils from Year 7 are speaking out for the right of all children, regardless of disabilities, to realise their right to an education. They have added their voices by covering the ‘buddy’ figures in messages.

Pupils are sending them to the Natascha Engel MP to pass on to the Prime Minister to remind the government of their promise to make sure all children have access to primary education by 2015.

Netherthorpe students held a special event in the hall at lunchtime. In return for signing the buddy petition students were treated to a whole variety of games and competitions. The event was attended by Karen Garvin of Action Aid, the PR and Media Co-Ordinator of the Send my Friend to School campaign.

Assistant headteacher Peter Bamford said: “It is wonderful to see so many of our students standing up for children around the world less fortunate than themselves. This was a fantastic event; the hall was packed from the start of lunchtime to the end. I am very proud that so many of our students want to take action and make a difference.”

Ade Adepitan, broadcaster and Paralympian is supporting the 2014 campaign, which aims to have thousands of schools taking part.

Ade says: “If world leaders are serious about getting EVERY child into education, they must prioritise the needs of children with disabilities now.”

The Send My Friend to School campaign has been running since 2005 – each year with a different theme – and millions of young people have taken part in the UK and in 100 countries around the world. Last year the campaign focused on the global shortage of professional teachers. Half a million young people from over 5,000 schools took part.

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