Uniformed Public Services students at West London College met Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a member of the House of Lords, last week. She delivered an online forum called ‘Learn with the Lords’ on 16 January 2023, arranged by their tutor, Darren Morgan, as their curriculum requires them to learn about the Houses of Parliament and how laws are made.
‘Learn with the Lords’ is a 40-minute online Q&A session where young people, aged 7-18, put their questions to a member of the House of Lords. The session is designed to bring Parliament to life for students and help them develop their understanding of the role of the House of Lords and the UK Government.
Hala said: “’Learn with the Lords’ was very informative in helping us to understand the difference between the House of Commons and the House of Lords and how Parliament works.” Hala went on to explain the difference, describing how the role of the House of Lords is to review the laws being drafted by the House of Commons until they agree, enabling acts of parliament to be passed.
Hala asked the Baroness for her views on the industrial unrest and strikes currently taking place throughout the public sector.
The Baroness, whose real name is Ilora Finlay, explained that her specialisms are in health services and medicine, and science and technology, so couldn’t give a specific answer. She said: “The Government has a very difficult job to do at the moment.”
Karol also found the online session gave him greater insight into how our Government works. Karol, who is originally from Poland asked a question about Brexit, as he believes it has created a climate where he feels less welcome. Baroness Finlay talked about her own family connections to Poland and how Brexit has affected people who wanted to start a new life in the UK. Karol said of her reply: “I felt accepted.”
Darren Morgan, Public Services teacher at West London College, said: “We study a lot around government and politics on our public services course, so this was a great experience for our students to meet someone from the House of Lords.”
The West London College Uniformed Public Services course includes a large variety of topics such as police powers and criminology. It looks at essential roles and responsibilities of all uniformed public services including the police, armed forces, fire service and Border Force.