Speaking of Speakers – John Bercow proves he is the order of the day!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in News | No Comments

saltash.net community school was honoured to host a visit by the Speaker of the House of Commons on Friday 19th April. Organised by Head of Politics at the school, Mr Adam Killeya, and also attended by Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Saltash, Martin and Maggie Gee, the event was deemed an outstanding success by all who had the privilege of meeting with and listening to the Right Honourable John Bercow.

The Speaker was met by Headteacher, Isobel Bryce, accompanied by the Head Students – Ross Raymond-Jones and Ellie Suter. Ross and Ellie then took him on a tour of the school which included its Livestock Area, where he met some year 7 students and Socks the school pig. He also had a chance to visit the school’s new 14-19 Travel and Tourism centre, and the Trematon Area Resource Base where the Speaker, who wrote the ‘Bercow report’ into Special Needs education, met students with severe and complex learning needs.

After his tour, the Speaker addressed the school’s Sixth Form, along with year 11 Citizenship students. He praised the school for its welcome, community spirit and facilities, and spoke of his enjoyment of being able to do such visits as part of his role. He went on to talk about the role of the Speaker and recounted how his wife Sally had tested him as he endeavoured to learn the names and pictures of over 200 new MPs in 2010! The Speaker also spoke of the importance of young people being interested in Politics, and of recognising that if they want to be directly involved then ‘they can do it!’.

The speaker went on to lead a Question & Answer session with the school’s A Level Politics students, tackling issues as diverse as the rise of UKIP, Mrs Thatcher, and ‘Punch and Judy’ Politics.

The visit ended with a parting gift of saltash.net goody bags for each of the Speaker’s three young children.

Speaking after the visit, Mrs Bryce said, “We were delighted to welcome the Speaker, and to hear him describe us as a very good school with many outstanding features. When he praised the level of welcome and interest that our students had shown, it made me extremely proud. He was an engaging and inspirational speaker whose message regarding what he had achieved in his career, after attending a state school in North London for his secondary education and then proceeding to Essex University, was pitched just right for our students who are on the cusp of moving on from saltash.net to a wide range of Higher Education providers.”

Mr Killeya added, “This was a wonderful opportunity for all students to learn more about Politics from someone at the very top – his answers to the questions were honest, frank and very interesting, and the students got a lot from it.”

Politics student, and Deputy Head Student of the school, Jack Crosley (18) said, “I was particularly impressed that such a senior politician would come on visits like this when he doesn’t have to – many politicians do visits or rallies to get votes but he doesn’t need to do that and he still found time in his busy schedule to come to speak to us.’