14 NOV 2016

Dr Dan marks UK Parliament Week in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Ahead of UK Parliament week which runs from Monday 14 to Friday 20 November, Dr Dan visited a number of primary schools across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and was delighted to meet pupils representing their individual school councils.

What really impressed Dr Dan was the enthusiasm and dedication with which the children take their role on the school council. This demonstrates the level of interest and engagement our young people feel with our democracy and while many may feel that people are becoming disengaged with politics, the opposite certainly seems to be ringing true in our younger generations here in Suffolk.

School councils are an excellent way for children to learn about democracy at a very early age and it gives them a voice within their school community. They are made up of a group of students who are elected to represent their fellow students' views. The election process to become a class representative can be hotly contested and Dr Dan very much enjoyed hearing tales of the election tactics and voting process from a number of the children. It was clear to Dr Dan that the pupils take great pride in their role and see it as a way to make changes for the better within their own school community.

School councils are a great platform for students to gain further confidence in public speaking, putting forward the views of their fellow students and making the case for their suggestions; these could be anything from fundraising for new playground equipment, suggesting a change to the school uniform or even initiatives to look out for each other and prevent bullying.

One of the key factors in a successful school council is undoubtedly communication. This can be communication between students to make sure that their ideas are heard, but also communication between staff and Governors, all of whom are working closely together to enhance the school environment.

The role of school councillor helps to further develop essential life skills such working together as a team, communication skills, learning to listen to and respect each other and then to reach a compromise when all sides of the conversation have been put forward. These are all valuable skills which will be needed as children progress through their education and then ultimately into their chosen careers.

UK Parliament Week is an annual festival which has been developed by the Houses of Parliament as part of its Outreach and Engagement service, and it has become a platform for schools to become more involved with Parliament from across the UK, exploring what Parliament and democracy means and encouraging them to become more involved. With over 250 events and activities taking place across the country, from workshops and discussions, to film screenings and historical archives and, UK Parliament Week is a fantastic opportunity to find out how you can better make your voice heard and learn more about the workings of Parliament.

 

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Dr Dan's work in Parliament

Social Care Funding (17 Oct 2018)
Daniel Poulter: My right hon. Friend is right to highlight the link between healthcare and social care. If we are to care properly for people with the long-term conditions he has outlined, we need to have a more joined-up and integrated system. It is hard to deliver that when we have a taxpayer-funded NHS and a social care system in which many people now have to pay for their own care. In looking for a...

Offensive Weapons Bill: Ipswich-London Rail Fares (15 Oct 2018)
Daniel Poulter: I thank my hon. Friend’s welcome news on capping rail fares, but does he not also agree that it is difficult for customers to disaggregate the cost of the fare—those in Ipswich are very high per mile by national standards—from reliability and speed of service? Despite the cost of tickets from Ipswich, reliability and speed of service have not improved over the years....