De Aston students debate in House of Lords Chamber

Ellie Mae Myles, Charlotte Marriott, Sarah Gadalla, Joshua Parkinson and Chloe Chuck about to enter the House of Lords EMN-171212-062831001

Students from a Market Rasen school have been part of an event taking place for only the 11th time in history - the House of Lords Chamber Debate.

De Aston was one of just 10 schools in the UK, and the only school in the East of England, invited to debate in the Westminster House as a result of their contributions to debating in school and for being the recipient of the MACE prize, a certificate awarded by the English Speaking Union to schools who create a debating culture.

During the debate, students were put into two groups - one working as student journalists and the other contributed to the formal debate in the House of Lords’ chamber.

This event allowed young people the chance to take part in a very formal parliamentary debate, focusing on the UK’s challenges of global International Relations in the 21st Century.

Steve Bunney, Market Rasen’s deputy mayor and a member of the De Aston, who travelled with the group said: “De Aston speakers more than held their own.

“It was an excellent occasion and one that I will remember for a long time, especially, the interview I sat in on with Normal Fowler, Lord Speaker, who seemed to want to summarise his successes in Parliament, with his work on Aids.”

During such a vital time with the Brexit negotiations, the debate event gave a view of what young people in this country think about international issues, in which the view of co-operation won by a large margin.

The first motion saw Year 11 student Charlotte Marriott open the floor debate, with the view the UK should work closely with global partners to achieve goals.

This was the outright winner during the final vote, gaining 113 votes.

Chloe Chuck (Yr11) gave a rousing speech in the second motion and gained 43 votes, representing the view the UK should become a global leader.

Finally, the third motion, saw Sarah Gadalla (Yr11) close the whole proceedings, representing those with the view the UK should focus on its own domestic issues before interfering with the world.

She received 21 votes.

Ellie-Mae Myles (Yr11) and Joshua Parkinson (Yr13) took part as student journalists, gaining a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The day included working with the House of Lords Press team, meeting influential and high-up individuals such as the Lord Speaker, former Minister Norman Fowler, and Matt Chorley, a journalist for the Times who runs the Red Box Podcast.

The students expressed their thanks to De Aston teacher Sarah Peacock for presenting them with this experience.

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