UK Parliament Week 2020

Every year UK Parliament week runs its annual festival which encourages people from across the globe, to engage with UK Parliament. As part of this year’s festival, which ran from the 1st November – 7th November, our A Level Politics department organised a virtual Q&A with guest speakers, former MP’s Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth.

The aim of UK Parliament week is to provoke interest in parliament, politics and democracy and encourage young people to participate and engage with the UK’s democratic system and institutions. Last year’s annual festival saw 1.2 million people participate in over 11,800 activities from all over the world.

To broaden students’ knowledge and to celebrate UK Parliament week, teachers from the Politics department at the Sixth Form College invited former MP’s Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth to deliver an informative Zoom presentation with the opportunity for students to ask questions.  

Both former MP’s come with a wealth of experience. Gareth Snell served as a Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central from 2017-2019 for the Labour Co-operative Political party. Ruth Smeeth also served as a Member of Parliament for Stoke -on-Trent North from 2015-2019 for the Labour Party.

Students were able to ask the former MP’s probing questions and the former Politicians challenged the students by asking thought-provoking questions in return. Many topics were discussed during the event such as local issues within Stoke-on-Trent, the Labour Party, the recent US elections, Covid-19 and civil rights, next steps and career progression within Politics, just to name a few.

A Level Politics student, Finlay Gordon-McCusker commented “I found the virtual Q&A informative and interesting. Hearing the perspective of two former MPs on the issues of the day was very fascinating and their comments on some of the topics we have studied in politics deepened my knowledge of the subject.”

“Even though the event was held virtually, I was able to get a lot from it, which can all be used to deepen my understanding of the subject and it was wonderful to be able to hear from two of the city’s prominent politicians.” 

A Level Politics Teacher Sian Holah said “It was a fantastic session which covered many relevant topics. Students gained valuable insight from both former MP’s and it was great to be able to offer this experience virtually. We are hoping to hold similar virtual Q&A sessions in the future. “