03 Jul 2013

Farlington School, outside Horsham, hosted a talk from a member of the House of Lords on Friday 14th June to encourage students to engage more with the political and parliamentary process. Baroness Emerton met with Year 10 girls for an hour to talk about the work and role of the House of Lords. This was followed by a question and answer session on various aspects of the parliamentary process and life at Westminster generally.
The girls were particularly interested in the Baroness’s career as a nurse. She worked in the National Health Service as Chief Nursing Officer of South East Thames Regional Health Authority throughout the 1980s and Chief Officer for Care in the Community 1996 to 1998 as well as being Chancellor and Chief Commander of St John Ambulance.
Why the Baroness had joined the House of Lords and whether being a woman had held her back prompted lively discussion.
Helen Ravenscroft, teacher of Sociology at Farlington School said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with someone who knows the parliamentary system inside out, as it can sometimes seem far removed from their daily lives.”
The visit was arranged through the Lord Speaker’s “Peers in Schools” programme, which has been running across the UK since 2007 and has so far involved around 50,000 young people. This continuing outreach programme sends members of the House of Lords into schools and colleges across the country to give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum. For further information, see the Lord Speaker’s web page at www.parliament.uk/lordspeaker.