The Your UK Parliament Award 2020 winners have been announced with Torquay Girls’ Grammar School winning School of the Year category.
2020 marks the third year of the Your UK Parliament awards, which are designed to celebrate people across the UK who have taken action on issues they care about. The winning entries were chosen by a panel of MPs, Peers and independent judges, who were unanimously impressed by the work people are doing to connect their community with the UK Parliament and democracy.
The School of Year award recognises schools which have taken action on an issue they care about and engaged with the UK Parliament on it.
The students of Torquay Girls’ Grammar School are passionate about climate change issues. At a school level they have initiated many changes; they started a vegetable garden, got single use plastic banned in the canteen and introduced meat-free Mondays.
As under 18 year olds are unable to vote, they created a forum to influence policy makers instead. They started an e-petition ‘Consult With Focus Groups Of Young People When Creating Climate Change Policy’ to ensure young people had a say on decisions about climate change, and created a video to promote it.
Using their lunchtimes to spread the word, they were able to engage MPs, Peers, Councillors, other schools and community groups in their cause. Anne-Marie Morris MP raised their issue in a debate in UK Parliament and they even received a letter of support from Sir David Attenborough! They are now lobbying leaders to facilitate a Student Climate Conference in the future.
Dr Nick Smith, Headteacher at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School said: “The girls are delighted to receive this award for their campaign to get their voices heard in the climate debate. They are particularly pleased that they have managed to achieve this through the democratic process.”
Further information on the Your UK Parliament Awards can be found here.