Students enjoy a trip to Parliament

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Students from Ashington High School were given a tour of the Houses of Parliament in as part of the BBC ‘s Women and Politics project.

Twelve Year 11 and 12 girls have been working with the BBC regional Sunday Politics show for the last six months studying the journey of women in politics over the years, particularly militant activist and well known suffragette Emily Davison.

The final part of the project saw the group spend a day in Parliament, which was organised in conjunction with the Parliamentary Education Outreach Service.

The students watched Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons via a video link to one of the committee rooms.

They then enjoyed lunch with the Lord Speaker, Baroness Frances D’Souza.

The girls attended a lecture about the suffragettes and a tour, which included the broom cupboard where Emily Davison hid herself in order to be registered as resident at the House of Commons for the census on April 2, 1911.

They were invited, together with Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, to Mr Speaker John Bercow’s apartment for a discussion about his work and to pick up a signed copy of Hansard covering the previous day’s debates.

At the end of the visit, the students got one final chance to view the river Thames from the terrace at Parliament with Mr Lavery and his colleagues.

Joanne Sanderson, law teacher at Ashington High School, said: “It was a fantastic experience for all involved.

“I am sure that it will be one of the lasting memories of all of the girls involved. It will certainly be one of mine.

“All girls were impeccable in their behaviour and clearly put forward their own views concerning a wide variety of issues that concern them.

“Hopefully it will leave those we have had the privilege to meet with a better understanding of young people and their strongly held opinions.”