Fareham school goes to Westminster

Pupils from Henry Cort visited Parliament
Pupils from Henry Cort visited Parliament
Graham Galbraith

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Pupils from a Fareham school had the chance to quiz their local MP as they visited Westminster recently.

The group, from year 9 at Henry Cort Community College, had a tour of the Houses of Parliament and a series of presentations in the new Parliamentary Education Centre, which opened last year.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes met the pupils for a question and answer session, during which she was quizzed on a wide range of issues, from education policy to the upcoming EU referendum.

The visit came as MPs debated the new education white paper, which proposes new measures to improve standards in schools and increase the number of Academies.

During the debate, Ms Fernandes backed the reforms, saying: ‘It is important that schools are free to choose how they are run.

Hampshire, in which my constituency is located, is performing well. The authority has an opportunity here. It can take advantage of that to become a Multi Academy Trust. It can outsource its services.

‘This is a great opportunity to reform standards and schools, to change structures and to improve standards by allowing more collaboration.’

Last year, the new education centre was opened at the Palace of Westminster, providing dedicated state-of-the-art facilities and additional capacity for schools and other groups visiting Parliament.

The new centre will allow one million school children to visit Parliament over the next decade.

Ms Fernandes is encouraging more local schools to pay a visit.

She said: ‘It’s really important that we make Parliament as accessible as possible to the people we represent, and I particularly welcome visits from our local schools.

‘It was great to talk to the pupils from Henry Cort – and I found their questions really interesting.

‘As well as learning about the history of Parliament and seeing the wonderful surroundings of the Palace of Westminster, visits like this are an opportunity for the next generation to find out more about the political process and to engage with politicians.

To arrange a tour or meeting with Ms Fernandes in Parliament, email suella@suellafernandes.co.uk.