On Friday 17th May, a Year 10 business studies class and a group of Year 12 students at Abbeywood Community School were lucky enough to receive a visit from Lord Jeffrey Rooker, a member of the House of Lords.
He was there as part of the ‘Peers in Schools’ programme, which was has been running since 2007. The scheme allows members of the Lords to demonstrate its pool of experience and knowledge by visiting schools, talking to students about their role in the House of Lords and hopefully encouraging them to become more engaged with the political and parliamentary process.
Since 2007, members of the Lords have visited over 2,000 schools across the country and spoken to around 100,000 pupils in support of the citizenship curriculum.
The students who attended the talk were fully engaged as Lord Rooker spoke to them about the differences between the Commons and the Lords, what the House of Lords does, how an idea becomes law and the role of the Lord Speaker. This was followed by a question and answer session where many of the students put Lord Rooker through his paces by asking him very topical questions, including: his opinion on the prison system, if he thinks young people are fairly represented, what he thinks the future of the government looks like and, of course, his views on Brexit.
Denisa Racaceanu, one of the Year 12 students who attended the talk, felt very lucky to receive the visit from Lord Rooker, saying:
“I thought the talk was very empowering and inspirational. I am really interested in law and hearing his story makes me motivated to achieve the things that I want. I also feel proud to be part of Abbeywood and be given these sorts of opportunities.”
Another Year 12 student, Galin Zhelyazkov, also enjoyed the talk saying:
“Coming from Bulgaria, I found the explanation of the parliamentary process really helpful. It was also reassuring to hear his opinions on Brexit as that is such an important topic at the moment.”
Gemma Shafto, director of Post-16 at Abbeywood and organiser of the talk, said:
“Thank you to the Peers in Schools programme, what an opportunity for our students! I was very impressed with the quality of the questions asked by our students; our visiting peer was well quizzed on Brexit and I really felt it brought politics to life for our young people. Lord Rooker was a great speaker.”
For more information about the ‘Peers in Schools’ programme and the role of the House of Lords, please visit www.parliament.uk/lordspeaker
Photo: Abbeywood students with Lord Rooker (third from right).
This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 22). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.