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Rawlett School visit to Parliament coincides with historic Mandela speeches

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

By Elise Chamberlain

  • Proud moment: Rawlett student council member, Shaun Morton, hands the school's business plan to Michael Gove's PA Ken Smith.

  • Momentous occasion: The students and Rawlett headteacher, Tim Bassett, are pictured on the lawn outside Big Ben with Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher.

  • Rawlett pupils witnessed Parliament's historic tribute to Nelson Mandela.

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TAMWORTH students were in the Houses of Parliament this week to witness history being made – before attempting to make history themselves.

Youngsters from the Rawlett School watched on as MPs paid tribute to Nelson Mandela on Monday (December 9).

The group were also given a private tour of the building by Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher.

"This inspirational visit is something Mr Pincher often organises for our students," said Rawlett teacher and Tamworth councillor Richard Kingstone. "As well as discussing the democratic process, students along with Rawlett headteacher Tim Bassett were taken into both the House of Commons and Lords."

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During their time listening to heartfelt tributes to the first black president of South Africa, the students were lucky enough to hear Prime Minister David Cameron deliver a speech commending the life and work of Mr Mandela, along with Labour party leader, Ed Miliband.

"They heard some amazing words said by ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown," added Cllr Kingstone.

Members of the student council also visited the Department for Education to deliver their business plan for the school's planned new sixth form.

With the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove MP, unavailable to receive the plan in person as he was out of the country, his personal assistant, Ken Smith, took delivery of the plan on Mr Gove's behalf.

The school will now have to wait until early in the New Year to find out whether the department agree to the proposed plans, which come just two years after a radical overhaul in secondary education saw Tamworth students transfer to a new multi-million pound post-16 centre.

"The support Rawlett have received for its sixth form proposals have been amazing with overwhelming support from parents and pupils to see a new sixth form opened in September," said Cllr Kingstone. "Fingers crossed!"

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  • Abominate  |  December 14 2013, 11:15AM

    I hope the students were told that in 1985 David Cameron was a top member of the Federation of Conservative Students, who produced the 'hang Mandela" posters. In 1989 Cameron worked in the Tory Policy Unit at Central Office and went on an anti-sanctions fact finding mission to South Africa with pro-apartheid Lobby Firm that was sponsored by Botha. Remember this when he tells the world he was inspired by Madiba.

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