On the Friday 26 May, a collection of Post-16 students studying a range of subjects from Government & Politics and Law to Economics made an eye-opening trip to Parliament and the Supreme Court. The trip included a guided tour around the Houses of Parliament during which students were taken to see inside the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Students were informed about the history of the building and how the evolution of British democracy can be seen in the building itself. Students were shown an interesting piece of artwork in Parliament (New Dawn by Mary Branson) that represented women’s suffrage and the changing nature of legislation.
After the guided tour, the students were taken into the Parliament Education Centre to take part in a workshop about how our government creates legislation. During this workshop the students were quizzed on their own knowledge and then encouraged to form a miniature parliament to debate a piece of legislation of their own choosing.
Students then were also lucky enough to receive a talk from Liberal Democrat and Peer in the House of Lords, Baroness Garden of Frognal who explained her role and how the House of Lords scrutinise and amend legislation, this included an informative Q and A session. She encouraged the students to take an active part in their government and visit one of the viewing galleries open to the public in the House of Commons or the House of Lords that had been pointed out earlier in the day.
After lunch, the students then walked to The Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The students were able to view and sit in the court rooms and, in groups received a guided tour from Mrs Penaligon.
The trip was incredibly informative for all involved and allowed the students to get a real feel for the way our democracy works.