Weston player assistant manager Scott Laird grilled by Jill Dando TV reporters

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 June 2020

Westons Scott Laird spoke to 25 student Jill Dando TV reporters from schools in The Priory Learning Trust. Picture Weston FC

Westons Scott Laird spoke to 25 student Jill Dando TV reporters from schools in The Priory Learning Trust. Picture Weston FC


Weston’s player assistant manager Scott Laird was the latest to be interviewed by young reporters aged eight to 16 during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Josh Thomas and Josh Keyes.

The 25 Jill Dando TV student reporters from schools in The Priory Learning Trust took their good news interviews across the globe over the last few weeks.

In a unique and exceptional extra curricular period, six learning subject principals, teachers and Dando’s vastly experienced journalist brother Nigel Dando all watched on as Laird was grilled by the enthusiastic children.

They were able to ask a range of questions from his best managers to his favourite teams.

Students from WCSA, The King Alfred School Academy, Priory Community School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, Castle Batch School Academy and Pawlett Primary School Academy took part.

“It’s great to interact with local schools and projects,” began Laird.

“They always ask very good questions and questions that relate to the local area and club involvement.

“There were questions that I would expect from journalists that have been doing their jobs for years. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The Jill Dando News Centre initiative was started at Jill’s old school Worle Community School Academy in Weston in 2017.

Jill Dando News and JDTV has since spread to other schools in The Priory Learning Trust and also to Malawi, Africa. The aim is to train children to find and write real-life stories in Jill’s style, which then go into the media and social media – filling people’s minds with positive news in an era of bad news.

Nigel Dando said: “It was very good of Scott to give so generously of his time. It was yet another great experience for the students and I think we all learned a little more about the life of a professional footballer.

“Scott has been the latest in a list of illustrious guests – from an American astronaut to international rugby players and leading screenwriters – who have willingly agreed to sit in the hot seat. I think they enjoy it as much as the students.

“The Priory Learning Trust should be congratulated on persuading such eminent people to get involved.”

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