Pupils lobby minster for superfast broadband at north Suffolk school

Ringsfield pupils Harriet, Grace and Jasmine with leader of Suffolk County Council Mark Bee, Waveney

Ringsfield pupils Harriet, Grace and Jasmine with leader of Suffolk County Council Mark Bee, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and minister for culture and digital industries Ed Vaizey. - Credit: Archant

A north Suffolk primary school is to become one of the first rural schools in the county to have superfast broadband thanks to the work of three passionate pupils who travelled to Westminster to speak to the minister for culture and digital industries.

Jasmine Blake, aged nine, Grace Mehew and Harriet Felton, both ten, who are pupils at Ringsfield Primary School, near Beccles, were joined on their trip by their head of school Jeremy Leicester, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and leader of Suffolk County Council Mark Bee.

They met with Ed Vaizey who is responsible for the rollout of superfast broadband across the UK, and spoke about the need for better and faster broadband at their school.

The pupils explained how important it is to enable them to log on quickly so that they can have a full lesson of computing and also to help them with their research for both topic work and homework.

Mr Vaizey thanked them for presenting their case and acknowledged the importance of rural primary schools getting access to superfast broadband as quickly as possible. It is expected that this will be available at Ringsfield in the next few months.

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Jasmine, Grace and Harriet said: 'We love computing and especially coding which is a part of the new National Curriculum. It was really exciting to be able to talk to Mr Vaizey about the problems we faced. We hope that all schools in Suffolk soon have access to superfast broadband so that all pupils can learn these important skills.'

Mr Leicester added: 'Our school has invested heavily in computing equipment recently, but we have struggled with very poor download speeds. We are delighted that the campaign the children of Oak Class ran has been successful and we are now looking forward to becoming one of the first rural schools in Suffolk to have superfast broadband.'

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Mr Bee also outlined the work that Suffolk County Council is doing to roll out superfast broadband and said they plan to ensure that 95pc of properties have coverage as soon as possible, with the remaining 5pc of hard to reach properties receiving a good service.

Mr Aldous said: 'I am most grateful to Jasmine, Grace and Harriet for being such passionate and well informed campaigners. They got their message over to the minister very clearly emphasising how important it is that rural schools which are often in broadband 'notspots' are not forgotten.'

• Have you got a Beccles story? Email amy.smith@archant.co.uk

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