Chatteris teacher encourages students to get into politics

Louis Sugden of Cromwell Community College, Chatteris, who will enocurage students to take an intere

Louis Sugden of Cromwell Community College, Chatteris, who will enocurage students to take an interest in politics.PHOTO: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

A newly qualified teacher at Cromwell Community College in Chatteris is hoping to inspire students to take an interest in politics.

Louis Sugden is empowering young people and teachers to be more actively involved through his involvement with the Parliament Education Service.

At the beginning of 2018, Louis successfully applied for to an opportunity to attend a three-day teachers institute event at the House of Commons along with thirty others from across the UK.

Louis, teacher of humanities at the college, said: “I was first made aware of the Parliament Education Service through Stephen Barclay, MP, who sent the opportunity to our principal, Jane Horn.

“As a history and politics university graduate, I have a strong interest in how parliament works and I’m eager to continue my learning to inspire young people and colleagues about parliament and democracy to ultimately become active citizens.

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“The three-day event was a very exciting experience. Myself and the other attendees were given a tour of the House of Commons and the opportunity to question the House of Commons Speaker and the Lord Speaker.

“We learnt about the role of the speakers and how important impartiality is to allow different points of view to be heard. We also heard from parliamentarians of all parties about their work in the Commons and Lords.”

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Since attending the event, Louis has become a UK Parliament teacher ambassador and gives talks to teachers and pupils within the Active Learning Trust about democracy.

Louis added: “The most important part for me from this whole experience is taking the learning back and empowering young people with knowledge. “As part of my continued professional development, I held a session about my role as ambassador to all staff at Cromwell Community College.

“I highlighted government initiatives that are in place but perhaps unknown, such as if you organise an educational trip to Parliament then you are entitled to a percentage of the travel costs back.

“We know that within the UK to vote in the general election you must be 18, but you can write to parliament or start a petition. I know of a student who has been inspired to successfully petition their local council to add feminism as a topic to its learning specification.

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