POLITICALLY-minded pupils have been given a privileged insight into the parliamentary process.

Year 6 pupils at Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, met with North East outreach officer for parliamentary education Gillian Bell to learn more about the UK Government.

The North East Parliamentary Outreach service aims to create awareness of the work of Parliament and show how the debates and decisions of the House of Commons and House of Lords are relevant to the region.

“I think it is vitally important that young people learn about democracy, how it effects them and how they can have a voice in deciding what decisions are made about their future,” said Mrs Bell.

“Some of the children are obviously politically informed from watching the news coverage of Brexit and the US elections and it’s great to hear them talk passionately and use the right vocabulary to express their own views.

“Others still have a few common misconceptions of Parliament with many thinking that the Queen alone still has the power to make the laws to govern the country.”

Following the morning workshop, students were given the opportunity to have their own mock parliamentary debate on the topics of limiting the use of screen time for children and banning homework for children at primary school.

Deputy head girl Cassie Grey, ten, of Hartlepool, who took on the role of madam speaker during the debate, said: “I already knew a little bit about politics because I live next door to our town’s MP Iain Wright and I have spoken to him before.

“I found it very interesting learning about Westminster Hall being over 1,000 years old and one of the largest rooms in Europe. It’s amazing to think about all of the laws that have been passed in there over that time.”

Eldon Grove Academy head teacher Audrey Brahimi added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to hear about the debating process which gave them the opportunity to improve their speaking and listening skills.

“They have also learnt about democracy, the parliamentary process and the work of Government, which will help them to become more informed and engaged in political discussion in the future.”