Baroness Jones steps in as teacher at Bethnal Green’s Academy school

Baroness Maggie Jones dropped in to a secondary school in London’s deprived East End today to see what it’s like taking a lesson with a class full of challenging kids.

The Opposition Lords Education Spokesman wanted to get a handle on teaching youngsters from poor backgrounds who may struggle with education to improve their lives.

So she took over an hour’s lesson on citizenship at Bethnal Green Academy as part of a national Teach First Week aimed at giving youngsters better opportunities in education.

“The experience made me realise how great the task of a teacher is,” she said. “The children were bright and it was a pleasure to be challenged by them.”

Leading personalities from politics, entertainment, business and sport swapped their day jobs for classrooms up and down the country, stepping out of their professional ‘comfort zones’ to experience the strains of being a teacher trying to inspire youngsters.

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Teach First charity’s founder Brett Wigdortz said: “We have to make sure that a generation of youngsters from low-socioeconomic backgrounds have the same chances in life as their wealthier peers.”

Baroness Jones took over teacher Millie Emmanuel’s citizenship class, drawing on her own experience in politics and public service to help her lesson. The former Labour Party chair is a board Member of Shelter homeless charity, the Empty Homes Agency and Circle Anglia Housing and is also ex-deputy chair of the School Food Trust.

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