26 January 2023
After winning a competition set by Head of Politics Mrs Katharine Payne, on Tuesday 24 January A Level politics students Georgie, Heidi, Izzy, Lulu, Natalia and Sophie seized the opportunity to meet distinguished figures from the spheres of law, business, government, academia, tech, and human rights at a very special lunch at Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton.
The lunch was organised by Woldingham governor Professor Francis Davis, who is Head of Digby Stuart College, which was hosting a high-level Commission of Enquiry, looking at the extent to which anti-terror legislation has impacted human rights.
Our Sixth Formers, along with students from the University of Roehampton and Sacred Heart High School Hammersmith, were briefed about the guests’ careers to help them make the most of their time networking with them, which they certainly did.
Lulu: I thoroughly enjoyed the Roehampton trip. It both informed me and taught me valuable skills about social networking, especially asking those "difficult" questions. I was lucky enough to sit next to Alyson Kilpatrick, who is Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Her views on the removal of the European human rights bill and the UK government making its own was very interesting as she was extremely concerned by it. The event was fascinating, and I am very pleased I had the opportunity to go.
Heidi: I was seated next to Sir Declan Morgan, who is currently a member of the UK Supreme Court, Professor Lucia Zedner, from the Faculty of Law, All Souls College, Oxford and university students studying law. We talked about a range of topics including social media and recruitment law, as well as the importance of passion for your job in the world of work. Being surrounded by so many experienced people was super insightful and inspiring. Sir Declan Morgan did say, however, that he chose between studying law and economics “by flipping a coin”. Depending how you view it, that could be mildly worrying coming from a Supreme Court member making important decisions or inspiring about how you should always stay open minded as to which path you decide to go down!
Georgie: The lunch at Roehampton was fascinating. Whilst the prospect intimidated me at first, I found that conversation was easy, ranging from how religion and politics are related to how social media is affecting society. The seating plans were arranged so that we had a range of expertise on each table, many from differing fields, which proved to be beneficial in helping me decide what might be next for me in education and careers. As someone interested in law, theology and politics, the advice I received was invaluable.
Natalia: I sat with Dr Mohammed Aziz, a former Commissioner for the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality, who shared interesting insights about the intersectionality of issues concerning race, gender and religion. He also explained how different government departments can "pass around” cases that don’t fit into certain categories.