Furness Academy’s Mock Parliament Week welcomes some special VIPS
Over the past few weeks, students at Furness Academy have been learning all about the democratic process and how a bill becomes a law. In preparation for UK Parliament Week which takes place in November, the students have been working on their own Bill proposals.
Each form group had to draft a bill for our mock parliament. Issues ranged from period poverty, to solar panels, mental health, seatbelt usage and careers support. Each of the over 40 bills were presented to the Furness Academy Student Voice, the council made up of school representatives, led by the head boy and head girl. The student voice team voted and narrowed it down to their top ten bill proposals which moved into stage two of the process.
Stage two took the form of an entire day’s workshop where the students had to develop their bill proposal. The students were required to find supporting legislation, research what information there already is surrounding their proposal, if similar bills had been raised before and prepare to present their bill for their peers to vote on. The students were joined during this workshop by Simon Fell MP who worked with each team to help them develop their arguments and expand their proposal, ready for their presentation. Mr Fell offered the students first hand insight into how a bill becomes law and how the democratic process of parliament works.
Mr Fell said, “It was great coming in and talking to some of the students at Furness Academy, part of Furness Education Trust, supporting the work they are doing for UK Parliament Week. The students have put together frankly amazing draft laws and to see those students wrestling with ideas, and working out the best way to present their arguments in a compelling way was wonderful.”
Mr Fell was also held a question and answer session with the students with a focus on climate change and their futures in Barrow-in-Furness. They were joined by Annabel Tiffin from the BBC who filmed the session for North West Tonight and joined the students during their research session.
After impressive presentations from the ten teams who got to the “second reading” of their bill proposal, the final three were chosen by the students. The final three groups, one each from year 8, 9 and 10, will move on to present these bills during a mock parliament session, to be filmed at Barrow Town Hall. These final three bills cover period poverty, youth volunteer opportunities and finally, mental health support for young people. All students at Furness Academy and Mr Fell will vote for the bill they would like to support and the winning team will be announced during UK Parliament week.