Pupils and teachers at a local Reading school played host to the Education Secretary ahead of a £400 million sports and music investment.

Theale Green School, known for its incredible transformation and focus on sports and arts welcomed Mr Zahawi before he changed roles on July 5 2022 from Education secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The government announced the substantial multi-million-pound investment will go towards giving every child the opportunity to develop their love of music and the arts.

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Following the event Mr Zahawi appeared in a short video on his social media channel saying: “We’re at Theale Green School – an incredible turnaround story. The focus on music and sport has been very part of much the ethos of this incredible school.

“We are announcing a £400million investment in sports and music education and £320million in the PE and sport premium to enable schools to deliver the sort of work this incredible school has been delivering.”

During the visit, Mr Zahawi joined the year 6 children in a competitive game of speed-stacking and participated in a lively drumming session.

The government’s announcement stated that the Department of Education has promised £25 million in new funding which will allow schools throughout the UK to buy around 200,000 instruments. This also includes an extended £79 million a year for music hubs until 2025.

As part of a new National Plan for Music Education, pupils will also receive one hour of music curriculum a week.

To provide children with an enriching school curriculum, a £320 million investment has also been confirmed for PE and sports in primary schools to be extended for at least another year.

£11million will also support the continuation of the School Games programme to give particularly passionate and talented young people the opportunity to participate in competitive sport.

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Mr Zahawi said: “I want every child to have the opportunity to develop a love of music and the arts, so they can explore their passions and fulfil their potential. These opportunities will give thousands more pupils access to an ambitious, enriching curriculum that not only supports them academically, but also supports their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Theale Green School, that has recently gained a GOOD Ofstead rating is part of the Well Schools Movement and places high value on the positive impacts that participating in sport and music can bring.

Ali Oliver, MBE, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, who was there for Mr Zahawi’s visit, said: “At the end of a really successful National School Sport Week, we welcome confirmation of this funding for primary schools across England.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank those working in and with schools who have maintained momentum, keeping children active and schools moving.

“Unhappy and unhealthy children don’t learn, if children don’t learn we won’t have a society fit for the future.”

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Headteacher Mrs Halliday followed up the visit with an enthusiastic thank you to all those who had made the event run smoothly, saying: “It is terrific news to hear that this Government are recognising the need to focus on children being happy and having fun as part of their daily diet in school.

“We want every child to able to be active and recognise what their body and mind can achieve through both sport and music and we were privileged to demonstrate this first hand the Mr Zahawi and his team.

“Our students of course put on a breathtaking display with their usual energy and enthusiasm and I could not have been more proud of them. They are an absolute reflection of the empowerment that sport and music given to young people.”