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Last Friday our local Member of Parliament, the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes visited and spoke to our  A Level, GCSE and Year 9 students. Ms Nokes, who also serves as the House of Commons’ Chair of the Women & Equalities Committee, addressed students virtually, and the students were spread out across the school in approximately 20 classrooms, all connected via HD cameras and microphones. Our MP’s presentation regarding the importance of Politics in the lives of young people was not only interesting and captivating, but down-to-earth in a way that it appealed to a much younger audience than she is used to addressing.

Ms Nokes’ 20-minute presentation was followed by a 30-minute bombardment of well-informed questions from students across all year groups in attendance. First up was Eleanor (Year 9) who enquired as to whether the recent kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard by a policeman in London mandates that issues such as women’s safety and gender equality should be more proactively taught in schools’ PSHE programmes. Edwin (Year 11) then sought Ms Nokes’ opinion regarding whether Brexit was the right path for our country, and what impact it will have in the short and long terms. Subsequent questions focused on lockdowns, our Prime Minster’s performance, LGBT rights, and a host of other topics.

Caroline Nokes’ visit reflected the best of Embley – the fact that we are able to get such high-profile speakers, and that our highly-academic students from age 13 and up were clearly able to perform at such an elevated level of political analysis and debate with such a high-profile and respected parliamentarian was clearly on display. We very much hope that Ms Nokes will return for a second round soon, in addition to our hosting other senior politicians who play such a crucial role in our country and society.

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