London Economics & Politics Study Visit : July 2019

With meetings scheduled at the Financial Times, Capital Group, and House of Commons, year 12 economists were excited to be accompanied by Mr Clarke (Economics), Mrs Adkin (History) and Mr Ingham (PE), on the now well-established London study visit.


Arriving in London, during rush-hour, on one of the hottest days of the year, was a rude awakening for all concerned. Our first appointment was at the Financial Times HQ, which, unbeknown to Mr Clarke, had recently relocated! Consequently, this added a further couple of thousand steps to our day, which Mr Clarke claimed added to the cross-curricular aspect of the visit!


Once inside the FT’s swanky new premises, Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor, offered us some refreshments and talked about his career to date. We were then joined by Martin Sandbu, Economics Commentator, and Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator. Interesting discussions ensued, covering a host of topics, from deep fake news, to Brexit, and democracy.


Packed lunches were consumed on the banks of The River Thames before travelling by London underground to Capital Group’s HQ in Belgravia, located adjacent to London’s most expensive street. Alumnus, John Lamb, arranged a tremendous afternoon of guest speakers which included a welcome from Prime Minister May’s husband, Philip May! John expertly chaired the entire afternoon. Thanks to Natasha Mounier, Sam Streatfeild, Talha Khan and Georgia Archer-Clowes, for making this such a positive enrichment activity for students and staff. Many of the students are now reconsidering career options and university choices as a direct result of hearing you speak!


Gazing from the fifth floor of Capital Group’s HQ, we could see Buckingham Palace and we managed to fit in an unplanned stop outside the Palace, before heading to our hotel. Having been up at 4:30am, the evening meal at 9pm was devoured in a flash!


Day 2 was somewhat less hectic, and with Mrs Adkin navigating, less stressful too! As we queued to enter The House of Commons, we observed the Brexit campaign groups expressing their points of view! This year, our tour included a visit to the viewing gallery above the Commons debate chamber, and, as luck would have it, John Bercow was chairing a debate about the government’s business, energy and industrial strategy. A workshop about proportional representation and first past the post voting in the education centre concluded the tour. We were delighted to be joined by Gateshead MP, Ian Mearns, who fielded questions from students with affiliations to political parties across the political spectrum.


Travelling home, staff were of one voice, when reflecting on the students’ enthusiasm, interest and behaviour. They were outstanding. A real credit to the College and themselves. Well done!

Thank you to all our hosts. See you again next year!