Richmond School students quiz MP and Chancellor

Rishi Sunak MP with the Achieve group of students at Richmond School.

Students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College have questioned their local MP and Chancellor about a wide range of current issues.

A hundred economics, history and business studies students posed thought-provoking questions to Rishi Sunak about political issues ranging from Covid and Cop26 to austerity, Brexit, HS2 and black lives matter.

The question and answer session was moderated by Jonathan Baines, a Year 13 student.

Jonathan said: “I was honoured to be invited to host the question and answer session with Mr Sunak.

“It was really interesting to be able to have a discussion with a man in his position and it was good to see him being tested with such smart questions by the students.”

Mrs Mawer, lead teacher for history, who organised the visit, added: “It was very kind of Mr Sunak to fit us in his busy schedule.

“It was a fabulous opportunity for our students to meet their local MP in person and pose questions on issues that concern them.

“The students were fascinated to hear him explain his work in government and his thoughts on the future.

“His visit gave the sixth form a real buzz and it was wonderful to see the students engaging in current affairs and the political issues of the day.”

Mr Sunak said he was impressed with the challenging nature of the questions and said: “It was tougher than being on Andrew Marr.

“I was very impressed by the thought and care that had been taken in framing the questions.”

He went on to say that with the Treasury moving to Darlington there are apprenticeship opportunities in economic policy-making and that it would be great to see some of the students who are studying Economics working alongside him at the new Treasury campus.

Mr Sunak met seven younger students in the school’s Achieve Group, who were keen to question him about his support of tree planting and to share an environmental project that they are currently working on in school.

“The students were aware that Mr Sunak is supporting an initiative to create a huge new forest in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, where 250,000 trees will be planted and they told him about their social action project to plant trees on the school site and the fundraising they are doing to make this happen.

“Mr Sunak was very interested in their work and the students were thrilled when he purchased some tickets for their raffle, which is supporting their project.

“Mr Sunak explained that he is keen to see many more trees planted in the local area to boost efforts to tackle climate change and he hopes to be able to offer the students the opportunity to help with the tree planting.”