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The Diocese of
Westminster Academy Trust

Convent girls debate impact of Brexit on BBC news

CJM students made the BBC evening news this month following their first Parliamentary style debate where they discussed the impact of the EU Settlement Scheme on students with local MP Dawn Butler present - 18 January.

The school launched its Student Parliament in November having scrapped its school council.

The BBC filmed the debate and interviewed the girls on the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 30 March anyone who is from the EU will have to apply to the government to continue living in the UK. The school estimates that around a third of its pupils will be impacted by the scheme, and at the time of the debate, had a cost of £65 to make an application. 

Headmistress Louise McGowan said:

“It is important to teach children about democracy in a fun and engaging way. Too many people do not understand the workings of our country’s political system so using the framework of a mock Parliament has allowed our students to experience a parliamentary debate.”

Two days after the debate aired on the BBC Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was scrapping the fee to apply for settled status.

On hearing the news Mrs McGowan added:

“We would like to think the voice of the youth heard in a fair, principled and measured way, might have influenced this decision.”

The governing party ‘Katherine’ and school Prime Minister have started work delivering a manifesto that includes helping to find a new catering company to supply food to their canteen and providing sanitary products to all pupils free of charge.

Joana Reis, Head of Katherine House and Prime Minister said:

“I strongly believe this will be a great year for Convent history because students now have a real voice and our school wants to hear what we have to say.”

Local Labour MP Dawn Butler who supported and heard the debate also offered to host the girls next debate in Parliament.


Watch the BBC news piece: