POLITICALLY-minded pupils turned their lesson into question time as they grilled their local MP on her views.

Year 5 pupils at Gurney Pease Academy played host to Darlington’s Labour MP Jenny Chapman questioning her on her career and party politics.

The youngsters asked her whether it was fair to make SATS harder thereby increasing the pressure on children; they challenged her on how Labour would find the money to finance university fees if they were abolished for students; they asked whether it was fair that footballers were paid more than life-savers; and they sort her views on ill people having to raise thousands of pounds for treatment abroad.

They also asked about the possible closure of Darlington A&E and the library, why she chose Labour, how she became an MP and whether she enjoyed it.

Mrs Chapman was visiting the school for the third time in recent times. She has been there to discuss traffic safety issues and proposed funding cuts but never for an official tour of the school, which is rated good by Ofsted.

Children heard that she had gone to school in Darlington with their head teacher Alison Sinclair and she had entered politics because she cared so much about the town and its future success.

She said: “The children were incredibly well informed both locally and nationally and it is heartening to see young people take an active interest in politics and local affairs.”

Mrs Sinclair added: “Jenny’s interest in our school, education and the needs of young people is greatly appreciated and welcomed and we were thrilled that she agreed to visit us and take so many searching questions from our Year 5s.”