Pupils who were campaigning to become head boy and girl at their primary school received some expert election advice when the local Member of Parliament visited their class. Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck since 2010, spent an afternoon with the Year 6 children at St Aidan’s Catholic Primary in Ashington, as part of their studies on parliamentary democracy.

The visit followed on from a trip to London for the same class in the previous year,” said headteacher Michael Moran. “We had planned to visit parliament and Ian had agreed to show us around and talk about his role.

The MP, a former miner and president of the National Union of Mineworkers prior to his election to Parliament, talked to the students about a wide range of subjects.

Headteacher Michael Moran said: “There was a wide range of things discussed. They talked about his background and where he grew up, working as a miner, and what his role involves as an MP. He also gave them advice about how you need to work hard to achieve what you want, whatever your goals might be, and he offered advice to the potential head boy and head girl candidates ahead of their election.

They all felt incredibly comfortable with him, and he was willing to discuss anything they asked, from advice on being elected to the School Council to what he thought of Boris Johnson. The children really enjoyed Ian’s visit. He was really down to earth and had an excellent manner with them.

Mr Lavery’s visit was also an opportunity for St Aidan’s, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, to build on its school motto of ‘Aspire to Inspire’.

We wanted to create a culture in school where our children are encouraged to share all their talents for everyone to see,” added Mr Moran. “They should inspire others through their actions and show how they can make a difference in the world. We asked Ian specifically because, not only is he their local MP, but he grew up a few hundred yards away from the school. We wanted to show the children what a difference someone from their community can make, and how they should aspire to do the same.

The 12 contenders to become St Aidan’s head boy or girl especially benefited from Mr Lavery’s wisdom, said Mr Moran, including the eventual victors.

Newly elected head girl Sophie Scott said: “He was very nice and answered all our questions. He inspired me to go for what I want to do, and that if I work hard for what I want, I can and will achieve it.

New head boy Jonathan Stephen added: “He gave me knowledge and advice on how to win votes, and this helped me achieve my goal of becoming head boy. He was very encouraging and inspirational, encouraging me to ask questions. It was a very good experience.

Article created on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust by Barking Dog Media. For more information email: david@barkingdogmedia.co.uk or call 07754 271086.