Campaigning pupils at Cordeaux receive special visit from MEP

Bill Newton-Dunn, Liberal Democrat MEP for East Midlands, meets Year 11 pupils James Vincent and Jake Holden.
Bill Newton-Dunn, Liberal Democrat MEP for East Midlands, meets Year 11 pupils James Vincent and Jake Holden.

A group of pupils at Cordeaux Academy have received a visit from one of the area’s Members of the European Parliament - while one group received a letter from the PM. Bill Newton-Dunn, a Liberal Democrat MEP for East Midlands, met with the pupils on Friday following an invitation from one of the pupils.

The Year 11 class, who are working towards a GCSE in Citizenship, have been devising political and social campaigns over the past few months.

Issues such as climate change, the minimum wage, child slavery, DNA testing, reducing the legal driving age and aiding Syrian refugees were all covered by the enthusiastic students, who carried out their campaigns through the use of petitions, social media, websites, and direct correspondence with politicians and decision-makers.

Dana Dixon, one of the pupils involved in a campaign to end child slavery in Africa, wrote a letter to Mr Newton-Dunn, and he accepted her invitation to visit the school and discuss the campaigns with the class.

Mr Newton-Dunn said: “You can see that the pupils all believe in their campaigns, and want to make a difference.

“If they raise awareness of these issues, then we have a chance! I would have liked to spend longer talking with the pupils.”

A campaign to help Syrian refugees, led by James Vincent, Jake Holden and Jack Midgely, received a letter from David Cameron’s office last week after they got in touch with Downing Street.

James Vincent said: “We decided to run this campaign after we researched and realised how bad the situation is for Syrian refugees. We think it’s important to try and help save two million lives.

“We hope to build it over time, and reach a higher authority with each step.

Jake Holden added: “We have written to Barack Obama, and we are hoping for a reply from him soon.”

Cordeaux’s Head of Humanities, Mr Simon Bowman, praised the pupils’ efforts.

Mr Bowman said: “We are very proud of our pupils for their enthusiasm in running their campaigns.

“They’ve managed to make people aware, particularly through using new forms of technology in the classroom.

“They have given up their own time and done all the work off their own back. They have been brilliant.”