Peer pays a visit to sixth-formers

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A NOBLE visitor gave sixth formers at Ponteland High School an insight into a centuries-old political establishment.

Lord Shipley of Gosforth talked about the history and current functions of the House of Lords, as well as his own career, before taking questions from the students.

He has been a Liberal Democrat councillor for 34 years, including a spell as Leader of Newcastle City Council.

The peer worked for The Open University for more than 30 years and retired in 2005 as Regional Director for the North of England and the European Union, a job which involved the management of teaching and learning for around 7,000 EU students.

Ponteland High Associate Headteacher Anita Brown said: “The House of Lords has an important role to play in the government of our country, but it does not have the same high profile as the House of Commons.

“The visit from Lord Shipley, a local peer, was an excellent opportunity for our post-16 students to find out about how he and his colleagues work.”

The talk was part of the Peers in Schools programme, where members of the House go into schools and sixth form colleges to make students more aware of how it plays an important part in the Parliamentary process and encourage them to get involved in politics.