I was thrilled to have the opportunity on Friday to visit two South Northamptonshire schools; Old Stratford Primary School and Sponne School.
At Old Stratford Headteacher Mrs Sasha Lees and the children warmly welcomed me to their assembly in the morning. Following their recent focus on the importance of democracy as a British value, I was very impressed with how much all the children knew about politics and Parliament – although I must say I'm glad there aren't 12,000 Members of Parliament as one youngster suggested... it would get rather crowded on the benches in the Commons! There were many who said they wanted to be MPs when they grew up, and I was very pleased that some of the important issues they brought up was the legislation on drink-driving and gun-control. I always enjoy a Q&A session with primary school students, as the mind of a child is truly wonderful.
Later on in the day I met with Year 12 and 13 students in the Sixth Form at Sponne School in a session on parliamentary politics organised by Head Girl Bryonie Owen. Bryonie was a wonderful host and I am most grateful to her for having organised a really interesting meeting with some very switched-on young adults. Following an overview from me on my role as both a constituency MP and a Minister of State, I had my second "MPQs" of the day with some really important questions posed on a number of policy areas from the Syria vote to the NHS to my work in the Department of Energy & Climate Change. I also enjoyed hearing from Victoria Austin, Head of Sixth Form, about how the school continues to go from strength to strength, and it was a real pleasure to see Head of Geography Sean Marshall who coordinates Sponne's involvement with the Uganda Twinning Project that I started in 2007 with the wonderful Richard Johnson.