Bristol Schools get a taste of Election Issues – Natalie Bennett and General Sir Peter Wall speak
21 April 2015
This Monday, Speakers for Schools speakers Natalie Bennett and General Sir Peter Wall each gave their own talks at state schools in Bristol, on the same topic: Why I Vote? These talks were a part of the programme’s’ spring Election Talk Series, as an opportunity for students.
General Sir Peter Wall talks Global Democracy at Orchard School
In the morning, Orchard School had the pleasure of hosting General Sir Peter Wall to talk to over 100 year 9’s about the upcoming election and why they should care. A crash course in what is happening in the UK right now, Sir Peter tried to contextualise with how different this election will be to previous elections for the 13 and 14 year olds.
General Wall urged students to not get jaded by politics in the years to come: “Politics needs you. It needs talented people with varied expertise from the next generation. At very least be sure you pay attention.”
Students had a chance to ask their questions about which parties the General thought were doing well in leading, the role of Britain on the world stage and whether or not the outcomes in Afghanistan and Iraq were what he hoped for. All of this built around his message about how he believed people had a right to a fair, just government and the one thing he was most proud of in his military career is where he was able to provide that.
Natalie Bennett urges Sixth Formers to Register to Vote if they can
Bristol’s Cotham Post 16 Centre also had the chance to host an event Monday from the Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett. Launching the school’s ‘Democracy Week’ and ahead of their own local hustings, it was a chance for sixth form students to put their burning questions to the Green Leader.
What can people do about climate change? What will the Greens do about the deficit? Does Ms Bennett believe in quotas for women serving in Parliament? — students were anxious to discuss a range of political and personal views of the Green Party Leader.
Ms Bennett told students on the final day to register to vote: “Of course I would say vote Green but really I would say more importantly: just vote. I don’t care who for, but go down to the polls and at least vote.”
Mrs Bisco, Assistant Headteacher, said: “The students felt extremely validated that somebody of such profile was coming to speak to them. They were totally engaged, and raised exceptionally insightful questions (in part, a testament to the stimulation of the event). With students of this age, it takes a huge amount of energy to convincingly promote an attitude of uncapped aspiration. A political party leader coming to speak to them made them feel recognised, important and gave them a true picture of what their lives could be.”
Thanks to Natalie Bennett and General Wall for their time and support of our Election Talk Series!