John Glen MP was the first speaker in the new Sixth Form Council external speaker programme for this academic year and the coming academic year.
John was welcomed by me, Louis Hodgkinson (Deputy Chair & Treasurer Sixth Form Council), Mr Pover our Headteacher and representatives of the Board of Trustees, as well as Charlotte Packham (Head Girl) and Szymon Kocikowski (Head Boy).
Firstly, John had a discussion with the Headteacher and the trustees and they asked him some difficult but necessary questions regarding the future of the education funding formula and its long-term roll out, as well as highlighting the disparity between sixth form funding and main school funding. Mr Glen gave assurances that education spending would remain a high priority and that a fair funding formula continued to be a desired outcome.
We also discussed the future of education in and around the Salisbury area and how this might affect The Burgate, as well as the impact on the potential number of students on roll in light of new housing developments in Dorset and Hampshire.
After this, John toured around the school and visited a number of classrooms in action. This was a welcomed element of the visit.
The tour finished in the sixth form where John was greeted by a number of politics students from both lower and upper sixth as well as other students with a keen interest in politics and current affairs.
Topics of questions asked included:
Jamie Kay, L6 student said: "The Q&A with John Glen really showed me what the day to day routine of an MP is. His answers to our questions were very effective at laying a useful contextual background to our political studies and have further reignited my interest in politics, particularly at a local level."
Mr Pover, Headteacher, said: “I’m pleased that Mr Glen was prepared to answer directly the questions put to him, especially regarding achieving greater parity in educational funding. I continue to be hopeful that, as we emerge from austerity, education is prioritised and we have the resources to provide the highest quality our students deserve.”
Thanks must go to John for taking the time out of his busy schedule as a minister within the Treasury, especially during the current political climate, to visit our school and also to his staff for enabling this visit to take place, despite The Burgate not being covered by John’s constituency. Hopefully we can welcome him for another visit in the future.
Lower Sixth Student