Work Experience at the Houses of Parliament

By Edward H (Year 12 student)

How did I get the placement?

In March 2017, following an email from Mr Harris to parents discussing the lack of school funding in Devon, my father and I planned to visit local MP Neil Parish at his surgery in Honiton to discuss the issue. Sadly due to the inability for us to find a slot after school my father went on his own to the surgery.

However during the meeting my interest in politics was discussed and Mr Parish suggested that I should go to London for a week and carry out work experience at the Houses of Parliament with him. After filling out a lot of security forms and sending many letters and emails to Laura, Neils’ diary secretary, I got the incredible opportunity to spend a week in the ‘political engine of the country’.

What did I do during my time there?

I spent from Monday to Thursday at the Houses of Parliament.

From the second I arrived it struck me how fortunate I was to be there. I was given a security pass which allowed me to wander freely around the parliamentary site including into the Public Gallery to view debates in The Chamber a spectacle most only get to see on TV.

On Monday, after spending time in the office with Neil’s team in the morning I took full advantage of my access privileges and watched debates on defence in The Chamber. Following this I watched a statement by the Prime Minister on Brexit which was very interesting given the current relevance of the issue.

Throughout the week I had the unique opportunity to discuss local issues with Neil and his team in his office and then 5 minutes later immerse myself in national and international issues eg. I watched a debate on drugs policy in Westminster Hall and was lucky enough to watch Prime Minister Questions on the Wednesday.

The freedom I had, combined with the buzzing business of Parliament made the week one of the most enriching and insightful experiences of my life.

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