Valerie Meets Pupils from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary

On Monday 14 March 2022 I answered questions from Year 4 and Year 6 pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary as part of an online session organised through the Parliamentary Education Service.

During the session, the pupils learnt about Government and Parliament, the work of MPs and members of the House of Lords, how laws are made and how they can get their voices heard.

I was asked about my work in Parliament, and I outlined a week as Member of Parliament for Walsall South. I explained that each morning from Monday to Thursday a different Government department answers questions in the House, in the afternoons new laws are debated, and on Fridays I am normally in Walsall meeting and talking to constituents and having a surgery. 

I was also asked about legislation which I have had an influence on. I told the pupils about the Ten Minute Rule Bills I have presented to Parliament. The Epilepsy and Related Conditions Bill (2010) required the Government to publish a strategy on meeting the needs of people with epilepsy in health, social care and educational settings. The Adoption (Leave, Pay and Allowance Arrangements) Bill (2011) required leave, pay and allowance arrangements for adoptive parents to be equalised with those of parents whose children are born to them. I worked with ministers to include elements of both Bills in the Children and Families Act 2014.

I have sent the most recent copy of Hansard to the schools so that the pupils can see all that happens in Parliament, and a copy of the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on biodiversity in the UK. This is a report of a Select Committee. I thanked the children for their enthusiastic questions today, and the Parliamentary Education Service for setting up the session. I hope that the pupils continue to enjoy learning about our democracy.