Form 6 Politics students visit the seats of power

In the midst of Theresa May’s scramble to finalise her EU Withdrawal Bill in London and Brussels, Form 6 Politics students made their much anticipated visit to the 3 institutions of British political power.

Teacher of Politics and International Relations Mr Joseph Sanders tells us more:

"Their first stop was the Houses of Parliament, where a tempestuous Prime Minister’s Questions was taking place. Students witnessed the heart of British Parliament in action, with MPs dashing around Central Lobby, a centenary celebration of female suffrage being hosted, and a climate change demonstration raging all within a few hundred years of one another. The hustle and bustle of the House of Commons was juxtaposed with the more formal, ornate surroundings of the House of Lords, where students interrogated the issues of constitutional reform, Government dominance and the role of the monarch.

Next, and over the road in Portcullis House, students were welcomed by Antoinette Sandbach MP in the awe-inspiring Boothroyd Room. A highlight of this year’s trip was the Q&A session with the MP, who provided honest, insightful and eye-opening accounts of the day-to-day battles of a backbench parliamentarian. Oakhamians posed some fantastic questions, ranging from the controversial whipping system, the realities of legislating and, of course, the UK’s departure from the EU. Talking with a person on the front line of the ever-changing landscape of contemporary UK politics was a real eye-opener for students, and allowed them to apply practical experience to their growing abstract knowledge of politics and power.

Our final stops were the ever-popular visits to Downing Street and the Supreme Court. With access to Downing Street at a premium, Oakham students were fortunate enough to walk up to the famous Number 10 and follow in the footsteps of all of those ministers and dignitaries who have stomped the same path in recent weeks. Meanwhile, in the far more sedate and academic setting of the Supreme Court, students received a workshop on core political themes such as the separation of powers, judicial appointments and famous constitutional court cases within the court rooms of the old Middlesex Guildhall.

As ever, what the students gleaned from our visit is testament to the wide-ranging questions they asked throughout the day, and their obvious enjoyment of the buzz of Westminster and Whitehall."

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