Barking students win parliamentary award and meet House of Commons speaker John Bercow

Students and staff from Eastbury Community School with House of Commons speaker John Bercow. Picture

Students and staff from Eastbury Community School with House of Commons speaker John Bercow. Picture: LBBD. - Credit: LBBD

A Barking school has been recognised by the Houses of Parliament for a week of activities it ran to get students more engaged with the politics.

Last Year Eastbury Community School held mock teacher elections and analysed the results and turn-out.

It also ran fundraisers to bring students closer to politics and sent students to a model UN at Oxford University.

Standing in the Speakers State Apartment in the Palace of Westminster, Alicia Adu-Mensah and Mariana Bongou delivered the winners’ speech: “Our main goal in our campaign was to reduce the gap between young people and politics and standing here in Westminster I can assure you the gap has been closed.

“We would like to show our appreciation to our fellow peers in both year 12 and year 13 who gave up their own time to plan and deliver all the activities that made the week such a success”.

They were joined by speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow and Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge.

David Dickson, executive head teacher at Eastbury said it was important to prepare pupils for democratic life, that they understand the political process and respect different points of view.

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Year 12 politics student Fahad Mohammed said: “We participated in Parliament Week simply to demonstrate that politics is more than a subject, but a vital component in everyone’s life that affects everyone every day.

“Receiving this award has been great recognition for us as young politicians and has helped boost our self-esteem to continue educating people and emphasising that every vote counts.

“We will continue to make a difference because as Gary Low says ‘this is your world; shape it or someone else will.’”

Another year 12 politics student, Stephanie Harrison, said that the current political climate necessitated that people be engaged in the democratic process—something that she says was helped by the school’s parliament week.

“It is incredibly important to engage young people in politics so that they are keen to get involved in the democratic process for years to come,” said Evelyn Carpenter, a Barking and Dagenhan councillor and cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement.

“I sincerely hope that the students at Eastbury have developed a taste for politics.”