Politics is in the spotlight at Varndean College as students celebrate its 20 years at the college.
Taking place on a weekly basis during the college’s lunchtime throughout the year the Politics Society programme includes a wide variety of speakers, which not only attracts students who are studying Politics A level but others from a number of different subject areas.
On average 40-60 students attend the session each week. MP for Lewes and now a Transport Minister in the coalition government Norman Baker is an annual speaker.
In the last two years Varndean students have questioned Mr Baker on the “broken promise” of tuition fees and the impact of the Liberal Democrats in government.
Also on the agenda this year were local transport issues, with students asking questions about the reliability of the Brighton mainline train service and local buses.
In 2010 all of the main candidates running in the election for Brighton Pavilion visited and students also had the opportunity to question David Cameron when his “town hall” style meeting visited Varndean a couple of weeks before polling day.
Local MP Caroline Lucas is also a regular fixture in the calendar along with Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell and journalist Nick Davies, who talked about ‘what’s wrong with the press today’ and launched into what he identifies as the three main issues surrounding journalism – “ethics, money and freedom”.
Civil servants, members of the House of Lords, journalists, pressure groups and supporters of differing groups around the world bring the issues of the world to the doorstep of Varndean College.
Citizenship tutor Avril MacKenzie-Parr said: “We are so grateful to all those who come to speak and answer questions from our students.
The Politics Society continues to inspire students to find out more about the world around them, to get involved in campaigning and play an active role in politics.”
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