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Wednesday 15th March saw the intrepid LVI Politics class embark on a visit to the centre of UK political power on Budget Day. Overcoming the challenges of tube strikes, street protests and the hurly-burly of the Budget Day media circus, the group made it into a political showcase that enlightened their studies. They were welcomed by Lord Kinnoull, who very generously gave up his time to give the girls a wonderful ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the palace, including a mock-committee session. Here the students were able to put their political skills to use, questioning Lord Kinnoull about a range of issues that he addressed with great openness and knowledge.

The students were then able to witness the chambers of the House of Commons and House of Lords in action, with the post-Budget debate in the Commons and peers question time in the Lords. The students were delighted to see personalities that they have researched and discussed in class, standing in front of them, debating in the chamber, or eating their lunch in Portcullis House. Famous faces seen during the day included King Charles (spotted in a detour past Buckingham Palace), Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt, Priti Patel, Dame Floella Benjamin and our local MP, James Gray, who took the time to talk to the girls.

The girls loved the ‘buzz’ of Parliament, surrounded by striking teachers, Brexit campaigners and Remainers; the energy of Budget Day was infectious. This was fortunate, as they had an epic journey home through streets clogged with tube strike traffic. They did not lose their good heart or singing ability during the bus journey home.

A massive thank you to Lord Kinnoull for his invitation to the Palace of Westminster and his generosity with his time and knowledge during the day. It was a truly memorable experience. Thank you also to Mrs Visser and Mrs Lindsay for organising and supporting the visit.

Mr Adrien Stoten
History & Politics Teacher