Year 11 Students Attend Dame Rachel de Souza Lecture
By Nanthana L, Katherine M, Matilda P and Millie A, Year 11
The evening started differently from what was expected. Due to the coach being cancelled Ms Copin came and picked five girls from the group to go with her in her car. We were lucky to be able to attend the lecture fully which was an amazing experience. As soon as we got into the car it almost was like a mission. We had to get there by 5:30 therefore we were up against the clock. We also listened to some Georgian music which was great and discussed what the lecture may entail. The car ride went all smoothly, and we had a great time. We safely made it to the school, and we navigated to the Shaftesbury Lecture room in Harrow School. This is where the lecture began and where we learnt about many new things about the issue of children’s needs not being met around the country and how that leads to many disadvantages.
The lecture given by Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, was an insightful look into the theme of the importance of attendance in education and seeks to inspire us to support disadvantaged students in this area (Harrow). The fluency and potency with which she spoke captured the whole hall. This speech was based on the results of the survey of “The Big Ask,” analysing the statistics and the numbers, breaking them down into understandable pieces. “The Big Ask” was a survey which asked a variety of different questions related to school and education to over half a million students aged 4-17. Some of the results from that were that 84% of respondents were happy or okay with their school life, and around 26,000 currently receiving mental health support. Rachel Dame De Souza spoke about the implications of these statistics, and what she and the UK government were doing in order to change that and improve it (for example, she met with the big social media platform companies, and now they are obliged to report to her on statistics regarding those platforms, one of them being how many underage children there were on the given platform).
Overall, this talk was very interesting, and we all had a great time!