Elvin pupils speak at Houses of Parliament

During the October half term, a group of Elvin pupils travelled to the Houses of Parliament to speak on a panel at an event entitled ‘Beyond Academisation’. Below is a report from Malgorzata in year 10:

“On the 28th of October our school was invited to contribute to a panel discussion event called "Beyond Academisation". Happily we took a trip down to Parliament along with Mr. Lauder and Ms. Williams. Before the event started we had the pleasure of a very short tour around the Parliament and also to meet couple of Ms. Williams' friends who work there. They were kind enough to explain in brief their story and give some advice if we wanted to start getting our heads around politics.

In the meeting we were delighted to meet and listen to a couple of important figures in educational world such as Ian Mearns MP, Education selected committee member who spoke about smart investing of money in the correct things and people to make education develop and to give teachers what they deserve for the important job they are doing; we met Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Portfolio lead member for Children's services at Hackney Council who presented the number of academies in Hackney which is just under 50% and stated that "Academisation isn't for every school". Also we heard from Graeme Duncan, CEO of Right to Succeed, who shared a thought that I'm pretty sure almost everybody agreed with -"Education is about great people", I think this idea applies to our school almost perfectly due to the great staff we have at Elvin. Ms. Williams took part in the discussion too and explained her experience working in different non-academy schools in Cardiff.

We had the opportunity to speak about our own experiences since our community school changed into an academy. Anahita from year 10 spoke about the difference that different head teachers made over the couple past years and how it affected the school as a place, pupils and their learning. I spoke about the GCSE results in year 2015 and answering the main question of the event "Is academisation the only answer to improve schools?" I linked to what Mr. Duncan said and stated that what improves school is great leadership and great teaching not just changing the name of this particular institution from 'community school ' to an ' academy '.

I think we all got something out of this meeting and most surely it made us change the way we think about teachers at least in small amount. In my opinion it was a great opportunity for us, to speak our minds and ask these knowledgeable people what we want to know.”