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Oakham students selected to be MEPs for the day

Published by Oakham School on Tuesday 20th of January 2015

Students from Oakham School had the honour of being selected to represent the UK as MEPs for the day. Oakham was the only UK school asked to attend the Euroscola conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Twenty-four of Oakham's A Level and IB students were chosen by the British Council for this conference, which saw over 500 students from around the European Union attend. This gave our young politicians a fantastic opportunity to represent the country and talk about important political issues with other European students.

The Euroscola conference gives 16-18 year olds the chance to act and work as a Member of European Parliament for the day. Sitting where MEPs usually sit, the students debated on current European issues like migration, youth employment and the future of Europe. They also met in committees and drafted reports, which were then presented and subjected to a vote in a final plenary session.

The students were selected as a result of the School's strong reputation in political debating, most notably in its regular attendance at Model United Nations conferences. Students regularly travel across the world to attend these academic conferences (where they simulate United Nations meetings by each representing a different country and debating a chosen topic).

'Our students performed exceptionally well,' says Head of Politics, Laurence Ward. 'They asked some excellent questions in the debates and took as much as possible from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was an incredibly informative and interactive learning experience, which in no doubt will help them in their studies of international relations and the EU in their IB and A2 courses.'

These political conferences are aimed at developing students' understanding of national and international issues, as well as providing hands-on experience of researching and debating real life situations. Laurence continues 'These are the types of skills that universities and employers are looking for, regardless of whether the students see their future in politics. To have the opportunity to research complex issues and debate possible solutions is not only a fascinating experience, but also an invaluable skillset.'
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