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Lord Dear Visits Shottery

Year 12 student Maya tells us about Lord Dear's visit to Shottery as part of the Sixth Form Speaker Programme last week.

Last Friday, Lord Geoffrey Dear came into school to visit Year 12 and 13 Politics students as part of the House of Lords outreach scheme which aims to educate state school pupils and ‘humanise’ the face of the House.  After a brief (but chilly!) photo opportunity outside with the Stratford Observer, we then swiftly moved inside to the warmth of the Hargreaves building, where Lord Dear began with a fascinating introduction to the roles and history of the House of Lords.

One date he spoke passionately about was 1688, which saw the arrival of the British Bill of Rights which limited the powers of the monarch and transferred further powers to Parliament.   I found this particularly interesting because it explained the basis of sovereignty and the constitution in Britain today, which is fundamental to the Government and Politics A Level.  

Towards the end of his presentation, Lord Dear's attention was turned on us, as he explained that he was keen to explore and discover our opinions on topical debates such as terrorism, tax credits, voting laws and EU membership.  This proved to be an engaging discussion as Lord Dear (who attends Parliament on average 3 times a week) was very open with us and seemed to have a real interest in understanding our views as Sixth Formers.

Before becoming a Life Peer, Lord Dear was the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police which is of personal interest to me as I am considering a career in the police force.  After the Q&A session had finished, I took the opportunity to discuss the future of policing with him which was extremely thought-provoking and benefited me enormously!  We would like to offer our grateful thanks to Lord Dear for taking the time to visit us and to our teacher Mr Giles for organising the afternoon.  It was so useful in terms of enhancing our understanding of the role that the House of Lords undertakes, and Lord Dear was both engaging and insightful.



All photographs courtesy of Jon Mullis @ Stratford Observer