On Friday 20th September, Borrowdale School was visited by our MP Trudy Harrison. Trudy Harrison is the MP for Copeland, but she is also the PPS (Parliamentary Private Secretary) to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson. After meeting Mr Smits in the Institute in July, she wanted to learn more about the challenges currently faced by small rural schools in Cumbria such as Borrowdale School. She also wanted to meet the pupils of Borrowdale and give them the chance to ask her questions about issues that matter to them.
First, the children asked the MP questions about what it was like to be an MP. Mrs Harrison told them about some of the long days when she has to travel to Westminster, and what her days look like when she is there. She also told the children about the amazing people she meets and the interesting visits she gets to make.
Of course the children also asked questions about Brexit. Mrs Harrison talked about how the UK will always be part of Europe, but she compared the EU to a club to which not all countries in Europe belong.
When a question about the sustainability of small schools was asked, Mrs Harrison explained that she became interested about going into politics when she campaigned to keep Captain Shaw School in Bootle open because she believes that schools are very important for rural community.
Most pupils had shown solidarity with the Global Strike earlier that day, so they questioned why councils charge schools to recycle their waste, and it surprised Mrs Harrison that this was the case. She promised to find out more and that she would write to the pupil who asked the question. Mrs Harrison also told the children how important it is to promote clean energy when she was asked about what more could be done about reducing climate change.
The NHS was the final topic that the children wanted to talk about, and Mrs Harrison explained that even though Cumbria is a beautiful place to work, it is still difficult to recruit enough people to fill all the jobs that are here.
The children hope to catch up with Mrs Harrison again in Westminster when they are going to London for a residential later this year.