UK Politics

David and Samantha Cameron visit late son Ivan's school

Samantha and David Cameron
Image caption David Cameron praised the love and compassion shown by school staff to Ivan

David and Samantha Cameron have made an emotional visit to the school attended by their son Ivan, who died last year.

The prime minister described Jack Tizard School in west London as an "incredible place" where their eldest child had been happy.

Mr and Mrs Cameron opened a new hydrotherapy pool and chatted to staff and pupils during the hour-long visit.

Ivan died, aged six, in February 2009. He was born disabled and had cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy.

Mrs Cameron clutched her husband's hand as they entered the school together.

She looked emotional as the prime minister recalled their son's life.

He said: "I remember with Ivan it was one of the things that he most liked doing."

'Great compassion'

Mr Cameron added: "I remember how much he loved swimming and he will be looking down at that pool thinking, 'I wish I was in there today'."

Ivan, who attended the special school in Hammersmith for around two years, required intensive round-the-clock care throughout his life.

Mr Cameron said: "Our special schools are incredible places. You have a child, a special child like we did with Ivan. You worry like mad you are never going to find somewhere where he is happy, where there is great teaching, where there is love and great compassion.

"And when you find that place like we did with Jack Tizard, your heart lifts."

The couple also launched The Big Splash charity, of which Mrs Cameron is the patron.

A spokesman for the organisation, which aims to raise money for disabled children in west London, said: "We're delighted to have Samantha and David's support in helping to raise much-needed funds."

The Camerons have three other children: Nancy, Arthur Elwyn and Florence, who was born this summer.