Pupils get political

Yvette Cooper holding a debate with pupils at Kings School
Yvette Cooper holding a debate with pupils at Kings School

YOUNGSTERS with a penchant for politics took part in parliamentary-style debate led by visiting Pontefract and Castleford MP, Yvette Cooper.

A group of King’s School students took on the politician with vigour over the sale of tobacco products when she visited the school last week.

Year eight pupils at the Mill Hill Lane school shared their views in a House of Commons style discussion then held a vote with 30 in favour and 24 against.

Susan Gardner, year eight achievement leader, said: “It worked really well, the children were really engaged and it helped bring the process to life.

“They were quite star-struck and found it difficult standing up and speaking rather than being invited to speak – it was a stark contract to what you see in school, so they found that aspect challenging.”

Around 60 children from the school recently visited parliament to learn more about how laws are made, and met with Ms Cooper to learn more about the role of MPs.

Pupils quizzed her on local and national issues and asked questions on a broad range of subjects, from Pontefract Hospital to youth unemployment and anti-social behaviour.

Ms Cooper said: “I was really impressed. It was a really lively debate and they presented their views very well. Many were keen to join the campaign for Pontefract Hospital.

“Others raised concerns about fear of crime.

“Several asked about the job of an MP.

“Given how strongly they felt about different issues they would be great campaigners, councillors or political representatives in future.”