Earlier this month, the Student Leadership Team from Harrogate Grammar School visited the Houses of Parliament in London. It was a unique experience for the eight Year 13 students, immersing them in our political world.
Andrew Jones, Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, took the students on a comprehensive tour of The Palace of Westminster, including the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The group were able to listen in to important debates, ranging from education funding to the rights of British workers at sea. Andrew Jones shared his knowledge of the history of the Palace of Westminster, and explained how debates are structured and how the law-making process of parliament functions.
The group also met with Harrogate Grammar School Alumnus, Harvey McCabe, who works as Senior Communications Adviser to Jamie Wallis MP. He provided the students with an insight the political system and explained his own role in supporting a Member of Parliament.
Olivia Cooke Tonge, Deputy Head student was excited to gain exposure:
It is a kaleidoscope of political insights thanks to alumnus Harvey McCabe and our local MP Andrew Jones, showing us the House of Lords and House of Commons. It was a grounding experience seeing how local communities can effect change on a national scale and a great behind the scenes look at the politics we see every day on the news.
Deputy Head Student, Mason De Souza, added:
It was a great education in the workings of parliament, passionately delivered by our local MP and tour guide Andrew Jones. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about the country’s leadership and the trip allowed us to develop an appreciation for almost one thousand years of British history. Meeting with Harrogate Grammar School alumnus Harvey McCabe was inspiring as we saw what he had achieved since leaving school. He made it clear to us that his success was owed to the teachers and Sixth Form staff, and this knowledge left us feeling empowered to follow in his footsteps.
Ben Twitchin, Director of Sixth Form, added:
The students really had their eyes opened and were fascinated to witness first-hand political debate. It was a privilege to be shown around such a special place, part of our history but of course part of our future. The students came away with a renewed sense of their own leadership skills and respect for the complex decision-making processes they saw there.