Beaconsfield High School

Beaconsfield High School

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Thought-provoking inaugural Politics Society event

Mrs Williams, Head of Politics

The BHS Politics Society’s first event, held on Monday 16th October, brought university professors, students and other guests together to debate the 2017 Snap General Election. 

Chaired by student Alice Smith, it began with a highly informative and engaging speech by Professor Justin Fisher from Brunel University on ‘Electoral Change in Britain: The 2017 General Election in Context.’  He explained that recent years have marked a growth in voter volatility with party loyalty in decline. 

Voter behaviour is no longer dictated by class, but age is now a significant factor with 66% of the 18-19 year olds voting for Labour whereas for the 70+ age group, 69% voted Conservative. He also cited the 2017 election as marking the return of the two party election with regard to the share of the vote, especially within England and Wales.

Dr Nick Allen from Royal Holloway University then provided a passionate defence of Theresa May’s decision to call the snap election. He argued that the conditions prior to the election all indicated that her action was justified. He then evaluated the campaigns and the circumstances that led to the loss of the Conservative majority.  He concluded with a warning that both parties are still weakened by internal instability. 

Alice then opened the discussion to questions from the floor and after our students set the tone with their insightful and challenging questions our invited audience were quick to join in.

We were delighted to welcome a number of Politics students from our neighbouring schools including JHGS, SWBGS, DCGS, DCHS, BSS and Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury.

The visiting speakers both commented on how much they enjoyed the event and how impressed they were with the students. As Professor Fisher said: “They posed excellent questions and demonstrated real understanding of the material.” 

Thanks must go to Harriet Davidson for supporting Mrs Williams with the organisation and the Year 13 Politics students for supporting in the hosting of the event. They all helped to ensure that it ran smoothly.  Special thanks must, however, go to Alice Smith. She was a perfect chair and won praise from all who attended. As Professor Fisher commented, she was quite simply ‘excellent.’ Indeed as he said, all the students were ‘a credit to the school’.

The Politics Society now turns its attention to our forthcoming event celebrating Parliament Week on the 13th-19th November.  This will be an opportunity to engage the school in the activities of Parliament and it promises to be great fun!  Our key event of the week is the Year Eight visit from suffragette!