ALAN MAK: Park Community School success recognised nationally

Alan Mak MP with Park Community School headteacher Chris Anders at the Tes Awards parliamentary reception
Alan Mak MP with Park Community School headteacher Chris Anders at the Tes Awards parliamentary reception
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The Havant MP puts the Leigh Park school in the spotlight.

Schools are at the heart of our community, so it’s right that we recognise the important role they can play outside of education.

Whether through sport, providing space for community groups or running after-school activities, schools are far more than just buildings and classrooms.

Epitomising this ethos, and embracing a more innovative approach, is Park Community School in Leigh Park which has been named a finalist in the Tes Schools Awards. The awards recognise the commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and support staff across the UK.

The school was nominated in the community and collaboration category for its MUNCH scheme and I was delighted to meet headteacher Chris Anders in parliament to find out more.

MUNCH operates in the school holidays and supplies nutritious two course meals and activities for children and their families attending any Leigh Park school.

Play equipment is provided, along with learning practitioners, who help encourage the learning of maths and English skills. The Park school nurse is also on hand, on a drop-in basis, for any concerns parents may have.

Since launching in April 2017, the scheme has proved popular with 2,500 meals having been provided with 1,496 children attending and more than 30 schools involved.

As the former president of Magic Breakfast, a leading national charity which provides meals in schools, I know the importance of ensuring children have access to healthy food.

But the work that’s being done by Park means that no matter what time of year, no child in Leigh Park should be going hungry.

The MUNCH programme continues to grow, with plans for a sustainable local social enterprise through a community food shop and café.

I look forward to watching the project develop and I wish Park Community School the best of luck in the Tes Schools Awards later this month.

• Don’t forget nominations are now open for my third Havant Small Business Awards. Visit to find out more.