John Whittingdale visited Southminster Primary School at the invitation of Chairman of Governors, Phil Brewster, and Headteacher, Karen Harden.

Formed in September 2007 through the merger of the original infant and junior schools, Southminster Primary is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled school with around 200 pupils. John was given a tour of the school round by two pupils, Maddison and Billy, and then discussed a number of issues with the Head and Chairman of Governors. In particular, John promised to raise with the County Council concerns about the additional costs facing the school as a result of operating from two separate buildings. John said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and was greatly impressed by the happy atmosphere throughout the school. Since its formation, the school has made huge progress and that is in large part due to the hard work of the headteacher, staff and governors."

John is pictured with Phil Brewster, Graham Martin (former Chairman of Governors), Karen Harden and Maddison and Billy.