Politics and history teacher at Upton-by-Chester High School Alistair Petty brought politics alive by inviting a life peer, Baroness Helen Newlove, to school to speak to students.
Helen Newlove was given a peerage in 2010 and now sits in the House of Lords.
The Warrington-based community reform campaigner was appointed as the Victims’ Commissioner by the UK Government in 2012. She came to prominence after her husband, Garry was murdered by three youths in 2007. After his death Helen set up a number of foundations that aimed to tackle the UK drinking culture as well as providing support to young people.
The talk encouraged students to become more engaged with the political and parliamentary process. Baroness Newlove spoke to sixth form politics and psychology students about the work and role of the House of Lords, followed by a question and answer session on various aspects of the parliamentary process and life at the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Petty said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the parliamentary system from the inside, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives, but today they have had a thorough insight into the workings of Westminster.”
The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s ‘Peers in Schools’ outreach programme, which was established across the UK in 2007 and has so far involved around 90,000 young people. Members of the House of Lords visit schools, academies and colleges to give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum.
Sixth form student Charlotte Forrest said about the visit: “It was refreshing to see a politician who does not avoid questions.” Nicole Williams said: “Not only did she give a moving speech about her personal experiences, but also gave me a great insight into the work of the House of Lords.”
Charlotte Salmon added: “She was a very inspirational woman.”