EXCLUSIVE REPORT – Conservative Leadership contender Boris Johnson visited inspirational student reporters inspired by Jill Dando at a fast improving Somerset school.

Former journalist Boris met students aged 9 to 15 who work out of the Jill Dando News Centre at The King Alfred School Academy, which is one of the county’s fastest improving schools.

Our Good News Post reporters exclusively broke the story of Boris’ visit to meet the Jill Dando students.

Jill died 20 years ago in April and along with Boris was an award-winning journalist in the 1980s and 90s.

Now students at TKASA and across The Priory Learning Trust are working with Jill’s brother Nigel and local journalists to get out hundreds of inspirational good news stories across their communities.

Since The Priory Learning Trust started to assist TKASA 18 months ago it has introduced a raft of measures that has now seen it improve in a whole range of areas.

Earlier this year it set up Britain’s first school based scout group with 100 members and was praised by Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It also worked with one of the world’s renowned artists to produce a 35 foot educational mural of King Alfred – the ambassador of Somerset and their school.

Jacob Kemp, aged 15, of the JDNC who aims to be a Political or Royal Correspondent, said: “As young journalists at the JDNC, we honoured to be given such an amazing opportunity to meet the candidate for Prime Minister! From presenters to politicians we have met many public figures, and this is a day to remember here at the JDNC!”

Principal Nathan Jenkins said “The Jill Dando News Centre students have been fantastic around our school, full of enthusiasm and talent. It has been an excellent year and we many much more exciting things to come.”

Neville Coles, Executive Principal of TPLT said: ”We are delighted at the progress of TKASA and the Jill Dando reporters have been able to report on the considerable successes of students. We are grateful to the local MP James Heappey and Boris Johnson for coming to see our students and developments.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Priory Learning Trust has seven JDNCs, giving a good news, positivity and mental wellbeing boost in schools.

Over 5000 children in Somerset and Malawi have been inspired by the life of Jill to push out good news across the area in local newspapers, radio and TV.

The other schools with JDNCs are Priory Community School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, and Castle Batch Primary School Academy in Weston-super-Mare. One is also being built in Pawlett Primary School Academy near Bridgwater.

African children in Malawi also have a JDNC.

The students’ work has highlighted Jill’s life and legacy, boosting positivity, kindness, good news and mental wellbeing. The JDNCs are simple but powerfully effective. Armed with iPads and notepads, the children aged 9 to 18 find and write positive stories across their schools and community.

Students are trained by Jill’s brother Nigel and other professional journalists and editors from local, regional and national Media.

Their stories then go into the media, and social media, and also in their own newspaper ‘The Post’ which they deliver to their old primary schools