On Wednesday 8th November, thirteen students from the Sir John Colfox Academy travelled to London to take up the opportunity of visiting the House of Parliament to meet with West Dorset MP, Sir Oliver Letwin. The group, with students aged eleven to sixteen, visited Westminster Hall, which is the biggest and oldest part of parliament, with some parts dating back to 1016AD. Describing the tour Eddie (Year Eight) said:
‘The tour guide took us to the Queen’s dressing room which was large, impressive and very colourful. Moving through the building, we saw many amazing paintings and sculptures. We were very lucky to be allowed into the House of Lords and into the House of Commons where Prime Ministers Questions had been held earlier that day. I was blown away by the intricacy and detail that decorated the interior of the building and our guide told us many interesting stories’.
The group were then led through an underground tunnel to meet Sir Oliver. The group were well prepared and took part in an enjoyable question and answer session with their local MP. The conversation covered a wide range of topics including: MP’s behaviour during Prime Ministers Questions, child Sunday working hours, poverty caused by benefit changes, the effect of BREXIT on West Dorset and local bus routes. Year 8 student Alfred Ross said: ‘We were very pleased with the detail of the answers to all our questions. He have some very good responses. My question was about cycling in West Dorset and he said that cycling recourse and facilities are something that need to be improved.
The group thoroughly enjoyed the day and reflecting on the visit Year 10 student Daisy Parsons said ‘It was great to have the experience to travel to London and see where the big decisions and debates take place. We were all discussing on the tube and bus home just how impressive it all was. We were very grateful to Sir Oliver Letwin for giving us his time and answering our questions’