After the success of the inaugural Politics School held in July 2014, the recent February half term (16th-20th February) saw Stephen hold his second Politics School sponsored by London City Airport. Ten students aged 16-18 studying at Newham schools and colleges spent time with Stephen and other leaders to understand more about the mechanisms of politics.

The students spent the early part of the week with Stephen in Westminster participating in media, advocacy and debating workshops as well as meeting a variety of people who work in Parliament. Having spent a day at Newham Council learning more about local government, the students then got a chance to learn about European Politics, staging a mock debate modelled on the European Parliament and having an insightful session with Seb Dance MEP.

The week ended with a day in Newham where the students got the opportunity to visit public spaces, training facilities and businesses that are integral to the regeneration of the borough. The day started with a visit to Stratford station and Westfield to learn about the development of the area and the conditions which led to East London gaining the bid for the Olympic and Paralympic games. After a visit to Crossrail’s training academy in Manor Park which the students got to visit tunnels and see how this impressive construction project has taken shape, they then visited West Ham United to learn about corporate social responsibility and the positive impact businesses have on local areas. The day also included a visit to London City Airport, who sponsored the programme, the offices of the Asian Business Port to hear about their vision for a third financial hub in London and to the Tate and Lyle Sugar factory to get a taste of how politics and business intersect. A trip to Canary Wharf to learn about entrepreneurialism concluded the day.

The day highlighted for the students the important developments that out happening in our borough as London continues to move east and the many opportunities that are being created for residents. Throughout the programme the students gained a sense of the impact that politics has on all our lives and the importance of taking part in the political process to make positive change.

Khuslen, one of the students on the Politics School, said, “My idea of how it would be like was completely different but it was one of the best experiences of my life by far!” For many students, it was their first insight into politics at a local, national and international level and their experiences on the programme have left them all eager to be more engaged in their communities." 

Speaking at the end of the week, Stephen said: “Providing this opportunity for students to witness politics up close has proved invaluable for them. It is crucial that young people are engaged with the political process and understand the difference that they can make to our local area. I am very grateful to London City Airport for their continued and generous support with this endeavour and I look forward to the next Politics School!”

Politics School students visit the Crossrail Tunnelling Academy in Manor Park

Politics School students visit the Crossrail Tunnelling Academy in Manor Park

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AuthorStephen Timms
At the Sky Studios in Millbank last year

At the Sky Studios in Millbank last year

"Planning is well under way for my Politics School which is being run from 16 - 20 February. It follows the Summer School I organised last year, which sought to give sixteen and seventeen year olds in Newham an insight into politics, on both a local and national level. 

"Young people in Newham show a lot of interest in politics. One sign is the growing participation in the borough’s young mayor election - an impressive turnout of 76 per cent was recorded this year. I read all the manifestos of those who stood for election - they were excellent. They called for more activities for young people, safer and cleaner streets, and improved access to universities and jobs. 

"The participants at my Politics School, who were selected last year after completing an application form on this website, are drawn from schools across Newham. Not only will they have the chance to see how Parliament works, they will also receive training in public speaking, working with the media and campaigning. I am hoping to lead them on a tour of Newham, showing some of the vital regeneration projects in recent years too.

"I will keep readers updated on how the Politics School is going by posting regularly on this website, the Politics School Twitter account, and on my Facebook page."

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AuthorStephen Timms

Over the past three weeks twelve young people across Newham have been spending their summer holidays learning about politics and public service on the first Stephen Timms Summer School. 

The initiative, run by Stephen Timms MP and funded by London City Airport, is the first of its kind in Newham. The programme enabled students to find out how politics works in Westminster, Newham Council and the political sphere more broadly.

The students, who were drawn from schools across Newham, spent a week learning about politics and picking up new skills. They then went on to apply what they had learnt with two charities based in Newham for two weeks, where they experienced how charities work and helped with the organisations’ operations. The two charities were Aston Mansfield and Newham All Star Sports Academy. 

During the first week the students had the opportunity to meet and question MPs and politicians, such as Stella Creasy MP and Sir Robin Wales. They got to see debates first hand in the House of Commons, visit Newham Council and the Treasury, and spend a day around Newham learning about regeneration and changes in our borough. They also participated in interactive sessions on public speaking, running campaigns and on advocating for constituents. The highlight for several students was a visit to the Sky News studios where they discussed current affairs with veteran political editor Adam Boulton.  

Stephen Timms MP said: “We have very talented young people in East Ham and it has been wonderful to see how much the students have learnt and how much they have thrown themselves into their charitable projects during the summer school. Students have already told me that they have been inspired to pursue careers in politics. I very much hope to see them active in our community and standing for public positions in the future!” 

The students completed the programme last Friday and received certificates presented by Stephen Timms MP and from Liam McKay, Head of CSR and Public Affairs at London City Airport. For many students, the opportunity to understand how politics works and meet a wide range of professionals from different backgrounds in the political sphere has been an invaluable experience and has inspired them to become more active. One student said the summer school had been “Amazing! Every day we had something to do and the chance to meet so many new people. I learnt everyone has a different route into entering politics.”

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AuthorStephen Timms

Last Thursday Stephen Timms MP launched a new initiative for young people in Newham to engage them in politics. The launch was hosted by London City Airport, sponsors of the Summer School, from the Royal Docks ahead of the start of the programme this week.

Stephen Timms MP with Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, and students from the summer school

Stephen Timms MP with Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, and students from the summer school

Twelve children from schools across Newham will spend the next three weeks of their summer holidays gaining a first-hand experience of politics and serving their communities. They have been given the opportunity to spend time in Westminster and in Newham Council where they will learn about the political process nationally and locally. The students will develop new skills such as working with the media and campaigning, and they will have the chance to meet a range of politicians and professionals working in the politics.

As part of the programme the students will also spend two weeks working with a charity in Newham on a project that will benefit residents. This year they will be working with Aston Mansfield and the Newham All Star Sports Academy.

Speaking at the launch, Stephen Timms said: “Young people are keen to make a difference and contribute to society, but often face many barriers. That is why I am delighted to be launching a summer school to give students across Newham an insight into politics and inspire them to get involved and help shape society. My hope is that the students who participate in the summer school are enthused about politics and encouraged to make their voices heard.”

The summer school is being sponsored by London City Airport and was launched from the Royal Docks. Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said: “London City Airport is proud to be sponsoring the inaugural Stephen Timms Summer School. We are committed to working with people of all ages in Newham to help create opportunities and build the workforce of tomorrow.  We are therefore pleased to support an educational programme to raise political awareness amongst young people.”

Nilufa Ahmed, a student at Brampton Manor Academy who will be participating in this year’s Summer School, said: “I am really looking forward to gaining an insight into the world of politics both at a local and national scale. I look forward to watching a live debate in the House of Commons and learning new techniques in order to improve on my own debating skills!”

To see the progress of the Stephen Timms Summer School, follow the Twitter account @STSS_14

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AuthorStephen Timms