26 October 2018
Students from John Willmott School had the opportunity to meet Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell when he visited the school this month.
Mr Mitchell spoke to sixth formers about his role as a Member of Parliament and his work in the constituency.
He answered questions on a range of topical issues, including rising housing costs, the international refugee crisis, youth culture and Brexit.
The MP said: “The contribution our young people make to our community in Sutton Coldfield is second to none.”
Mr Mitchell then met with a smaller group of student leaders and championed the town’s long-running inter-schools debating competition, which he has led for 17 years.
They discussed team building and the qualities of strong leadership, before the well-versed politician gave the students some top tips on how to present constructive arguments to get their points across.
Mr Mitchell said: “It was a pleasure to visit John Willmott School. I was impressed with the students and their understanding of politics. It’s so important for local politicians to engage with young people and encourage them to debate and to make their views known to their Member of Parliament.
"We have some budding politicians in our midst and I look forward to watching them perform at the next debating competition!”
Headteacher Tracey Peters said: “Our students gained a lot from Mr Mitchell’s visit and I know this will be the catalyst for further debate. John Willmott School believes in empowering students to take charge of their future.
"We’re creating more leaders and ambassadors across the school, so that children of all ages can aspire to excellence, work together, feel listened to and invest in their learning environment.
“John Willmott students are inquisitive, politically astute and confident in asking key questions. I hope that some of them will follow in Andrew’s footsteps to Westminster. On behalf of the whole school, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to visit us and meet our fantastic staff and young people.”
Year 13 student Iqra Yaqub is studying for her A-Levels and hopes to pursue a career in politics and law.
She said: “The visit was inspirational. It’s given me further incentive to fulfil my ambitions, because politics affects us all and it is something I feel passionately about.”
The year, she has been appointed as one of 100 student ambassadors, supporting children from across all years, while developing her own leadership skills to impact positively across John Willmott.
She said: “I’m very proud to have been chosen for this role. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference, to work with others and to be there to support and guide younger children.
"I’ve been here since year 7 and so it is wonderful to have this opportunity to pass on my knowledge to others and to give something back to school life.”