On Wednesday morning, James Gray attended and took part in a self-defence class organised by the friends of Ellie Gould to highlight the benefits of these classes in schools. This is part of a wider effort to push for self-defence classes to be a mandatory part of physical education, so that young people can learn how to protect themselves. The group believe that instead of playing netball or football, pupils could partake in one or two basic self-defence classes a year, therefore developing their skills without taking up hours of lesson time.
A petition set up by Ellie’s friends, and supported by James, calling for self-defence classes in schools, has now been signed by more than 12,000 people.
Mr Gray said that:
“Just a basic understanding and knowledge of self-defence techniques could well be a life-saver. If Ellie Gould had had some of this training- about how to react to an aggressor, and potentially how to see him off for long enough to run away, she might still be here today.
I have already been in correspondence with Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, to see if we can get self-defence tuition as a normal part of the curriculum. And now, in response to Ellie Welling, Harriet Adams and Tilda Offen, I am going to seek to call a special debate on the matter as soon as Parliamentary time permits.”