Councillor Jason Ellar Goes Back to Heathland School
Hounslow's Youngest Councillor Talks to Young Students about Politics
Young Syon Ward councillor, Jason Ellar, returned The Heathland School on Wednesday to talk to year eight citizenship students about the importance of politics. Speaking about his experience in local and national politics, Cllr Ellar expressed his political passion and encouraged students to try and find their own political voice.
The students learnt about the history of the British political system from Henry the Eight onwards as well as the responsibilities and functions of local and national government. They voted in a mock election where The Labour Party founder Keir Hardie narrowly beat the Conservative’s Margaret Thatcher, with Liberal Democrat minister Vince Cable in third place. The Labour Councillor, who graduated from the school in 2008, also outlined some of the inequalities within the political systems and argued that not enough students from comprehensive schools, ethnic minorities or women go on to become Councillors or MPs.
Cllr Ellar said: “it was a fantastic opportunity for me to go back to my old school and try to convey some of my passion for politics to the brilliant year eight students. I first realised my passion for politics in Miss Lightup’s history lessons at the Heathland School and it was a really humbling experience to be able to speak from a stage on which I watched so many brilliant speakers only a few years ago.
“I think it’s really important that the young people hear about politics from someone who is young and politically engaged. Often young people feel disenfranchised from the political system because they see a collection of mostly white, mostly old men making decisions and I can certainly understand why they feel politics doesn’t relate to them.
“Nevertheless, it affects them almost every moment of their lives, from the university they plan to go to, to the care they may receive in 60 years time and it’s vital that they know about the way politics works. I really hope I helped them in some way to find their political voice, and maybe even encourage politicians of the future!”
July 7, 2011