“Tanbridge House is a good school that works hard with the students to improve the progress they make.”
Ofsted Inspection Nov 2007
FRANCIS MAUDE SPEAKS TO TANBRIDGE HOUSE SCHOOL STUDENTS!
A report by Emma Simmons, Year 7
On the 11th May 2012, Francis Maude, Horsham’s local MP and Paymaster General/Cabinet Minister for the current Government, visited Tanbridge House School to talk to our Headteacher, Mr White. However before this meeting, students (including me) had the opportunity to meet Mr Maude and ask a few questions - he had no prior knowledge of these questions!
Selected students from Tanbridge’s Student Board met Mr Maude along with our Head Boy and Girl; Joe Brunning and Robyn Hockley. The Student Board is made up of representatives from each year group who represent the student body as a whole at Tanbridge and make sure that their ideas and opinions are heard.
The first question asked came from Sam (Year 9 Student Board). He asked Mr Maude what made him decide to be a Politician, as he had originally trained to be a Lawyer. Mr Maude explained that people tend to go into politics because of their strong beliefs, and wanting to make a difference.
He also talked about the number of different careers he has held and advised Sam, who has been told he would make a good politician one day, that politics shouldn’t be selected as your only career option.
Following on from that, Anya (Year 8 Student Board) asked Mr Maude about the hardest decision he has had to make. He talked about how he had to close two government institutions and explained that people would have lost their jobs as a result. He said it was tough to make a decision like that; however, when he looked at the bigger picture, it was the right thing to do.
Next, I asked a question (Year 7 Student Board). It was ‘How has Horsham changed since you have been an MP?’ After some thought, Mr Maude answered that he has always lived in the area, as well as being an MP for 15 years. He said that it is definitely bigger, and there is more sense of community now, as well as being more cohesive.
Josh (Year 10 Student Board) asked the final question. He asked about the differences between being a local MP for Horsham, and Mr Maude’s role as Cabinet Minister. Mr Maude spoke about how in Cabinet, you only speak about issues related to your role, so it is quite restrictive. He also said how as an MP you get involved in a wider range of issues, and speak to more people.
We then discussed the Student Board with Mr Maude and Robyn and Joe talked about their roles as Head Boy and Head Girl, as well as the role of the Senior Prefect team. Joe highlighted that that Senior Prefects now have specific areas which they focus on, to make sure everything is covered. Mr Maude commented that this is similar to the Cabinet, where everyone has their own roles.
Joe and Robyn talked with Mr Maude about how their time at Tanbridge is nearly over and how they are now thinking about future education. Mr Maude advised them to take subjects they enjoy at A level (which he believes are the most important exams they will ever take). He also mentioned his own children’s academic journey, and talked about which A levels you need to take to enter a certain career.
Finally, we talked about PLaTS (Personal Learning and Thinking Skills) and how the school makes a great effort to ensure students take these transferable skills away with them to other experiences.
In conclusion, I think we all enjoyed meeting Mr Maude, and it gave us an insight into the world of an MP and Politics.