Schoolchildren from Coventry have visited Parliament this week in a visit organised by the University of Warwick and UNESCO.
The visit was part of Warwick’s programmes to widen access to higher education, aiming to open up opportunities and experiences for schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds in Coventry.
The children, who visited parliament on Thursday 23rd March, were hosted by local MP Taiwo Owatemi.
The Department of Political and International Studies at the University of Warwick is currently working with Coventry City Council to put in a bid for schools in Coventry to join the UNESCO ASPNET schools’ network – an organisation designed to promote peace and the ideals of the UN.
The Network operates at international and national levels with three clear priorities: education for sustainable development, global citizenship education and inter-cultural and heritage learning.
The event builds on the work done at Warwick, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which aims to empower young voices in the city.
As part of its wider efforts to raise awareness of the initiative and encourage schools to sign up to the schools network, University of Warwick will also host a conference for schools in Coventry in July, as part of the Warwick Institute of Engagement’s Resonate Festival. At present, seven schools are signed up with a potential to add more from target neighbourhoods and community groups.
Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, said: “It was wonderful to be able to welcome schoolchildren from across Parliament today and to watch their presentations, which provided a fascinating insight into the history of our communities.
“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the University of Warwick and Coventry City Council to forge closer links to UNESCO UK and deliver more opportunities for children in Coventry to enhance their learning.”
Ann Beatty UNESCO ASPnet Coordinate for the UK and Chief Executive of the Steve Sinnott Foundation commented: “It was inspiring to hear from the young people of Coventry in Parliament and their hopes for the future. I am so looking forward to working with them and their teachers”.