FUTURE politicians from a Rugby primary school had their first taste of life in Parliament as they took part in a debate with a junior education minister.
Children from Oakfield Primary School visited the corridors of power as representatives of their school’s Pupil Parliament.
The pupils met with Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System and Student Finance, who spoke to them about her work in Parliament, leadership qualities, and how to inspire children.
She then chaired a debate as the children discussed what makes an effective leader in education and where they felt school leaders should prioritise their efforts. The pupils also laid out their thoughts on the importance of children having a voice in their education, why collaboration between staff and pupils is so vital, and weighed up the importance of pupils’ voices for schools when making decisions.
Baroness Barran said: “It was fantastic to see an abundance of enthusiasm and confidence from such young minds, and I was inspired by their insightful comments and ideas.
“I hope one day in years to come, Parliament will be able to benefit from their passion and thoughtfulness.”
The Pupil Parliament is made up of children elected to represent their school at a regional level, debating and working together with their peers from nearby schools.
They are encouraged to act as advocates for change within the REAch2 Academy Trust which runs the school, to speak up for pupils, and to challenge inequalities.
Each child wrote an application to explain why they should be chosen, explaining what their priorities would be as an education leader, and the importance of supporting pupils with hidden disabilities and ensuring children are taught to be open minded.
Cathie Paine, CEO of REAch2 Academy Trust, said: “Our new school Pupil Parliament is really important for helping our children realise that they can have a real impact. They can also learn more about democracy and understand that they have a voice that we will hear, as well as understanding how to work together to improve their school experience.
“I want these fantastic pupils to realise that there’s nothing to stop them working in Parliament in the future, or even being a future Prime Minister.”