Parliament’s half term recess lands a week before schools in Dudley break up for half term. Unfortunately, this means I’m usually in London for my son’s birthday rather than at home with him and my family in Stourbridge – but, on the plus side, it does mean I am back in the constituency for the last week of our local schools being open and I get the chance to visit more of them before they break up for half term.

On a visit to The Kingswinford Academy, I met with the school’s Eco-Committee and heard about their sustainability strategy ideas and aspirational target for their trust to be net carbon neutral by 2030.

I also visited Bromley Pensnett Primary School where deputy headteacher, Mr Parker, and I dropped in on classes from all year groups to hear from the children about their own future career aspirations. From vets to teachers, and football players to chefs, it was brilliant to hear the children outlining their ambitions and how they plan to reach them.

Later in the week I visited Dawley Brook Primary School in Kingswinford where ambition and sustainability improvements at school were also firmly on the agenda. Anyone who knows the school’s headteacher, Ms Maskell, will know how brilliantly passionate she is about supporting the children at Dawley Brook and giving them the best possible start in all aspects of life – academically, socially and emotionally. As always at Dawley Brook, it was fantastic to see this passion in practice through the hard-working staff and children.

Finally, I visited the Brier School on Bromley Lane and Pens Meadow School on Tiled House Lane where children from both schools had prepared some pretty tough questions to ask their MP.

As well as the Q&A sessions, it was incredibly encouraging to be guided on student-led tours of many of these schools, and to see the confidence these young people displayed in communicating their thoughts, ideas and pride in their schools.

Most readers will know about my annual Christmas card competition where I invite students from schools across Dudley South to submit entries with a chance of making it onto my final Christmas card which gets sent to people all over the constituency and the country.

While we’re still 10 months away from Christmas, we do have the upcoming coronation of King Charles III to look forward to and bring our communities together in May.

To help us celebrate this historic occasion here in Dudley South, I am inviting students from schools across our constituency to take part in a creative competition themed around the King’s coronation. Details of the competition have been sent to headteachers at all schools across Dudley South and I can’t wait to see what creative ideas our inspirational young people come up with.