Budding MP gets a taste for politics

Jun 12, 2024

A student from St Edward’s has his sights set on a career in politics after spending a week with his local MP, and helping with campaigning in the run-up to the General Election.

Andrew, 16, a budding MP in Year 12, spent a fascinating week with Michael Tomlinson MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole at his constituency office.

The A-level student, who is studying Politics, History and English Language at St Edward’s Sixth Form, has ambitions for a career in political journalism or as an MP, and gave up a chunk of his Easter break to join a group of work experience students in Mr Tomlinson’s constituency office in Lytchett Matravers.

The group were introduced to both local and national politics, with activities ranging from envelope stuffing to a question-and-answer session with a Member of the House of Lords.

Andrew had an opportunity to hear from local councillors, Parliamentary Assistants, to write briefings, choose his fantasy Cabinet and to engage in a lively debate chaired by Mr Tomlinson – with the work experience students opting to debate the question of legalising marijuana.

In a letter to the Executive Headteacher of St Edward’s School, Michael Tomlinson MP said of Andrew: “It was excellent to have his contributions. He was a credit to your school.”

Michael Tomlinson MP went on to say:

“Having work experience students in the office is always brilliant, and from my previous work as the Chair of the Youth Employment APPG I know that offering work experience is beneficial for both young people and employers. I hope to offer another work experience week in the summer recess, and any interested students can apply via my website”.

Executive Headteacher at St Edward’s School Mr Michael Antram said:

“Andrew is a brilliant young man with ambitions to do some good in the world and change politics for the better.


“I was so pleased to see him taking this step towards his dream and gain some great first-hand knowledge and experience – he learned a huge amount and is even more keen to work towards his ambition of a career in politics. We are very grateful for the opportunities and encouragement afforded by Michael Tomlinson MP to support students such as Andrew, who aspire to a career in politics.


“We always encourage our students to aim high and I would urge Andrew to do just that. I fully expect to see him in the House of Commons at some point in the future – and what a capable, committed, and principled MP he would make.”

Andrew has been invited to shadow Mr Tomlinson for a day in Parliament in June, when he will join a 75-minute tour of the Houses of Parliament, sit in the gallery during a debate in the Chamber, and sit in on a Select Committee or All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Andrew said:

“Spending time with Michael Tomlinson was interesting. It gave me a new perspective into what it takes to be an MP – especially how long the days are – we were working 12 hours some days.


“I was surprised about the amount of constituency work there is to do – there is a lot more to the job than sitting in parliament!


“This experience has given me a real insight into what it takes to do the job – I’d love to go into this field and hopefully one day become an MP myself.”