On Monday 22nd January, Quest A-Level Politics students undertook the opportunity to visit Parliament. Our trip started with an extensive tour of the Parliamentary estate, including Westminster Hall – which has been the site of a Royal Palace for the last 1,000 years, and has had the same roof for 650 (without a single screw or nail in it!) Students were able to see the spot where the late Queen Elizabeth II, and her forebears laid in state, alongside the locations where Nelson Mandela and President Obama had addressed Parliament.

We were then lucky enough to walk through St Stephen’s chapel, the location of the only assassination of a British Prime Minister (Spencer Perceval) and where the House of Commons sat for over 300 years – it was in this room that Charles I had attempted his arrest of 5 MPs and sparked the outbreak of the English Civil War.

After which we were up in the galleries to watch the debates taking place in both the House of Lords and House of Commons – seeing questions put to the Housing, Levelling Up and Communities minister, and trying to spot familiar faces, before heading across to a session facilitated by the Parliamentary Education Service.

Students were shown the process of the passage of the bill and were given the opportunity to select and debate their own ideas for legislation, which in turn led to an impassioned debate surrounding the morality and economics of assisted dying.

To wrap up our trip, students were met by Sarah Jones MP, representative of Croydon Central and the school’s local MP. Sarah kindly took the time to explain to students the role of an MP, some of the challenges facing our community and meetings and schemes she is championing within the constituency. She also gave us an insight into her role as a shadow minister for Trade and Industry and the decarbonisation brief that she holds. She wrapped up by giving students an insight into how to get involved in politics.

The students were excellent, very much enjoyed the trip and were a credit to the school.