Tony Blair at the Madejski Academy
Blair opens Madejski Academy
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair cut the ribbon to officially open the Madesjki Academy in Whitley, Reading on Wednesday 5 December 2007. See the video below.
Watch the video here:
How's this for a school speaker? Former Prime Minister Tony Blair turned up at the Madejski Academy on Wednesday 5 December to officially open the revamped Reading school.
Tony Blair gives his speech
Formerly Thamesbridge College, the 'Mad Acad' in Northhumberland Avenue in Whitley opened on February 26 but Mr Blair was there to cut the ribbon on Wednesday - although the ribbon wouldn't cut the first time!
City academies like this were the Blair government's brainchild and Reading FC chairman John Madejski injected £8 million into the £28 million school.
Tony Blair told BBC South Today reporter Ben Moore: "It's a tremendous tribute to John Madejski, to all the people who put in so much work.
"The great thing about this school is that it's a fantastic quality of education for children that a few years ago wouldn't have had a chance at all and that's what it's all about."
Tony Blair chats to a pupil
In a speech to the children the former Prime Minister said: "Whatever background you come from, if you're not able to get a quality education then you can spend the whole of your life never understanding what potential there is to do good, not just by yourself but by other people as well."
And after the speech the former PM had a good look around...and wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He helped one pupil with some papier mache during art class.
It was a whistle-stop tour but his visit is not something the pupils will forget in a hurry.
One student said: "It was a good experience because he's the most famous person I've ever met."
last updated: 06/12/07
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