A SOMERSET primary school teacher has been selected as one of only 70 teachers nationwide to take part in this year’s UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador programme.

Frances Abbott, of Castle Primary School in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, was invited to join the initiative to gain valuable insight into how the UK Parliament works, and how to grow pupils’ engagement in politics.

She watched debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords and learned more about the role of MPs and Lords, doorkeepers, and select committees.

Mrs Abbott, who is also the Senior Mental Health lead at Castle School, said: “It was an absolute privilege to attend the Parliament Teacher Ambassador course.

“I am brimming with ideas and knowledge and look forward to sharing with students and staff in our school and community.”

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Fran Jeens, UK Parliament’s Head of Education and Engagement, said: “Hundreds of teachers from across the country have been trained through the Teacher Ambassador programme, and have gone on to teach thousands more students and colleagues about the UK Parliament.

“I congratulate this year’s successful applicants and thank them for their support in inspiring and engaging young people with the work of the House of Commons and House of Lords.”

Mrs Abbott also toured the palace, met fellow teachers, and had an opportunity to quiz Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, and his counterpart in the Lords, Lord McFall of Alcluith.

Sir Lindsay said the three-day programme “offers a great opportunity for politicians and teachers to share their experiences”.

He said: “In my view, you are never too young to get involved in democracy and to make things happen – so giving teachers an insight into our world is a great way to pass that message back to the classroom.

“We also appreciate having the chance to talk to teachers about their experiences, to thank them for their hard work, and to see how we can work together to get children interested in politics.”