Primary school politicians put Sunderland MP through her paces

Sharon Hodgson MP visits the children at Barmston Primary School.
Sharon Hodgson MP visits the children at Barmston Primary School.
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Children at a Wearside primary school had the chance to put their local MP through her paces.

The pupils at Barmston Village Primary School in Washington were delighted when Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, paid a visit to their school.

In fact while at the primary the MP held a cabinet meeting with the school’s prime minister and other leading politicians.

Instead of having a school council, the children at Barmston Village Primary School have formed their own parliament.

The young people at the Waskerley Road school have even elected their own prime minister, deputy prime minister, chancellor, welfare minister, eco/finance minister and also a minister for school subjects.

These leaders are responsible for taking matters concerning pupils to teachers.

Staff at the school said the children have shown a lot of interest in issues such as media and politics, and each cabinet member represents specific curriculum subjects, reporting to the prime minister and department head.

Sharon was introduced to school assembly by Rotarian Neil McOnie, who helped to arrange the MP’s visit.

She spoke firstly at a school assembly and then met with the school prime minister and her elected cabinet.

Neil said: “Sharon started off by finding out what they knew about The Houses of Parliament, House of Commons and Lords, peers, the number of MPs, civil servants and what they all do.

“Sharon and myself were amazed at their depth of knowledge, which really was A level standard. They were nearly able to tell us the names of all the parties.

“The children were buzzing with interest and questions, especially when Sharon asked them what they new about Tax and VAT and where the money goes, like the NHS.

“She also talked about things from how and why laws were made, democracy, the right to vote, through to those who gave their lives to keep us safe and free.”

All the minutes from the meeting were documented by two pupil admin secretaries.

Neil said: “Sharon received enthusiastic applause of appreciation, discussions could have gone on and on, as there was no doubting their interest in politics.

“There are definitely some budding politicians at Barmston Primary.”