BBC Question Time inspires Stamford Endowed School’s pupils to consider a career in politics

On Thursday 28th January the Stamford Endowed Schools were delighted to host the BBC’s flagship political debate show, Question Time, which gave students an outstanding opportunity to see the inner workings of a successful television programme.

The panel consisted of Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson, author and writer for The Independent Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and CEO of M&C Saatchi Moray MacLennan. They tackled topical questions about the refugee crisis, Google and large corporations paying less tax, the costs of UK transport and the EU referendum.

Earlier in the day the face of Question Time himself, David Dimbleby, spent time with Stamford Endowed Schools Sixth Form politics students and gave them a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to become panellists and take part in their own political debate. The five student panellists had to field questions from their peers who were making up the audience.

Emma Hunter (Y13) one of the panellists, stood for town council in the ward of St. Johns representing the Liberal Democrats, in September last year. She said “Being able to witness the making of Question Time has re-enforced my belief that a career in politics is what I want.”

Asad Dharamsey, who featured on the student panel, said, “Although at first nerve racking, it was an amazing experience and as I am already considering politics as a career path it was really inspiring.”

Another panellist, George Brown, said, “I am really interested in politics and having the opportunity to meet someone as inspirational as David Dimbleby has made politics seem far more accessible to me.”

The Stamford Endowed Schools place a keen emphasis on allowing pupils to study politics at an earlier age as it plays an important part in developing them in to responsible and caring adults.

It is also crucial in allowing them to appreciate key political issues such as the refugee crisis, the EU referendum and the impact of taxing multinational companies such as Google. Hosting events such as Question Time is an excellent way to develop a student’s passion for politics and we feel to help bring around change in the world we live in.

David Tuck, Head of Politics at Stamford Endowed Schools, said “This was a great opportunity for students to use the political philosophy skills they have learned in class to answer complex questions on the European Union.”

The Question Time production team also worked with Stamford Endowed Schools Theatre Studies students during the day and allowed them to tour their production trailers and the set. This provided the students with a fascinating insight behind the scenes, including the huge tasks of transporting and building the set each week. Anneke Davies, Head of Drama commented “This has provided our students with a fascinating insight into the world of TV studio production.”

Stephen Roberts, Principal of Stamford Endowed Schools, said “With political issues becoming increasing more relevant to young people it is crucial to equip them with an interest and understanding of politics. BBC Question Time’s attendance here has been fantastic for both of these elements and I am sure this experience will help shape our own young politicians.

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