Minister makes his way down to Millfield Primary School to check out PACEY project

Minister for Education and Childcare, Sam Gyimah, visits Millfield Primary School, Littleport, to se

Minister for Education and Childcare, Sam Gyimah, visits Millfield Primary School, Littleport, to see the work being done by PACEY, with (l-r) Principal Deborah Hannahford, Leo, Dean, Chief Executive of PACEY Liz Bayram, Minister Sam Gyimah, and Hayden, - Credit: Archant

Millfield Primary School in Littleport hosted a visit by Education and Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah to showcase the effects a positive new project has had on its pupils.

The Starting School Together project, from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), aims to improve the transition for children from childcare settings into full-time education, and is being piloted in the primary school.

The school’s staff, members of PACEY, early years providers and parents met with The Education and Childcare Minister to discuss the influence the project has had on the school’s young pupils, and its plans to expand across the country.

Mr Gyimah met pupils from the school during one of their morning classes, and was also introduced to Jofli the bear – a teddy bear which every child in the Starting School Together is given.

Mr Gyimah said: “Starting school for the first time can be daunting for the children and make their parents anxious. Programmes like these are fantastic examples of the help kids can get when they go into school.”

Starting School Together is currently running in two schools in East Cambridgeshire – Littleport Community Primary School and Millfield Primary School – and childminder and project co-ordinator Sue Smith has been one of the key figures in rolling out the project in the area.

She said: “We want to identify those children who are in need of support in their transition into school. We want to support and develop their skills but most importantly their well being.”

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Liz Bayram, chief executive of PACEY, believes that the pilot has been a success, and hopes the project can expand in the coming months.

She said: “The Starting School Together pilot project has demonstrated that strengthening the partnerships between parents, childcare professionals and teachers can really help children make a positive start to school and also ease the anxiety felt by parents. We very much hope that the project can be rolled out to other areas of the country.”

For more information on the Starting School Together project, please visit