Year 9 enjoyed a workshop from the Parliamentary Education Outreach programme on Wednesday 28th September. They were asked to plan their own political campaign, and they chose to cover issues such as free school buses, changing the times of the school day, abolishing university tuition fees, and even ending world poverty. It was an inspirational morning and we hope that some of the students will go on to make such changes happen!
Politics students at St Mary's Sixth Form enjoyed an action-packed day at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester on Tuesday 23rd September. This is the last conference before the General Election next year. All students heard Ed Miliband's 'make or break' speech: Year 12s in the hall and Year 13s on the stage behind the Labour leader. Outside the main hall, the air was full of talk about Scotland, constitutional reform, IS and growing cynicism about politics and political parties. Students met and spoke with Jon Snow, the veteran Channel 4 News presenter (pictured above); Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty, a civil liberties pressure group; and Gordon Marsden, the MP for Blackpool South. Some students were interviewed by the BBC's Daily Politics Show. A great day was had by all!!
St Mary’s Politics students enjoyed a day at the North West Conservative Conference in Bury on 10th February, 2012. Students participated in a Q and A session with the Rt Hon George Osborne, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. A number of students asked challenging questions to the Chancellor. There were also speeches by Members of the European Parliament and North West Conservative MPs, including one MP who used to write songs for the pop sensation of the 1980s, Rick Astley. Students particularly enjoyed a session on transport policy with Paul Maynard, the MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys and a member of the Transport select committee. The session brought out the real challenges of creating an integrated transport policy – locally and nationally. Many members of the party congratulated our students at the end of the day for their thoughtful contributions and questions. It was an excellent day and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
On Wed 28th September St Mary’s Politics students visited the Labour Party Conference in the Echo Arena, Liverpool. The security was very tight and the arena was surrounded by police officers. The highlight of the trip (for most students!!!!) was having front row seats for the Ed Miliband Question and Answer session, which was covered live on Sky News and BBC Parliament; for other students, however, the highlight was meeting and being photographed with the comedian and actor, Eddie Izzard. For the media photo opportunity at the beginning of the Q and A, Ed Miliband sat between James Taylor (Year 13) and Melina Richuitti (Year 12). It was quite disconcerting for them to be surrounded by dozens of photographers and journalists.
Students also discussed topical political issues with Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader, and Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South. At some points in the day it was like a game of spot the celebrity politician or media personality. It was a hugely enjoyable day for all.