Munira visited Teddington School and met with staff and students.
In a question and answer session with 6th form students, Munira was asked about her route into politics, her views on climate change, House of Lords reform, the impacts of Brexit and proportional representation. There was also a question on votes for 16 and 17 year-olds.
In her answer Munira said:
“Every time I meet young adults I am impressed by their level of political engagement and awareness of issues. It cannot be right that from 16 years old, people can work, pay taxes, get married and join the armed forces, but they cannot vote. Many groups of people have had to fight for the right to vote over the years, and I see votes for 16 year-olds through the same lens.”
“Young people have been massively impacted by the pandemic, with schools closed, limited opportunity to see friends, and sports cancelled. School leavers are facing one of the toughest jobs markets in a generation. I worry about the impact of youth unemployment over the next few years as the economy recovers. These young people need a voice in our democracy and should be given the right to vote at all future elections.”
The visit included a tour of the school facilities, which have needed to be reconfigured to support Covid compliant bubbles, and a meeting with headteacher Kathy Pacey.
Kathy explained how challenging the first lockdown was with a lack of IT equipment for children and the need to rapidly move to online learning. However, the teachers adapted quickly and both teachers and students were far better prepared for the second lockdown.
Following the meeting, Munira said:
“I would like to thank Kathy for inviting me to Teddington School. Planning is well in hand for the next stages of Covid restriction relaxation and it will be great to see the school gradually returning to normal. Kathy and her senior team have done a fantastic job over the past few years, and I support their continued work.”