Lord Speaker’s competition for schools 2009

05 March 2009

The House of Lords, in partnership with the Hansard Society, has launched a new competition for young people aged 11 to 16 to express how they feel about media portrayals of their generation: Raw Deal or Truth Told? Young People in the Media.

The entrants are being asked to look at issues such as portrayals of youth culture in television programmes, negative coverage in print media and questions like should celebrities, sports stars or musicians be role models? This follows on from 2008’s What a Waste! competition.

This competition is an opportunity for young people who feel strongly about this subject to submit their views in a variety of formats including film and newspaper articles.

The winners will be invited to the Houses of Parliament for a tour, and will have the chance to discuss their submission with Members of the House of Lords Communications Committee. Students from the winning groups will also receive £25 each.

All entrants will receive a signed certificate from the Lord Speaker and Lord Fowler, Chair of the Communications Committee, and their submissions will be compiled into a report.

How to enter

  • Teachers/youth workers should register young people online at www.parliament.uk/holcompetition
  • The competition opened on Wednesday 4 March
  • The closing date is Friday 5 June
  • Entrants should be aged between 11 and 16 years old
  • Only group entries will be considered. Groups should be a minimum of two and although there is no limit to group size, only five people from the three winning teams can attend the Winners' Day in Parliament
  • Submissions can be in the format of the entrants’ choice, eg a presentation, film, newspaper article, collage
  • Entry details, competition rules, background information and lesson plans for teachers outlining the work of the House of Lords can be found at www.parliament.uk/holcompetition

Baroness Hayman, the Lord Speaker, said:

"Last year's competition was a great success and I know that the Communications Committee is looking forward to hearing from young people themselves about this topical and important subject.

"Naturally young people want to voice their thoughts and views about the media's portrayal of them and I would encourage all schools to get involved and contribute to this exciting competition. It is a great opportunity for all participating pupils, and for the winners to spend a day in Parliament and see a select committee in action."

(Watch the Lord Speaker explain more about the competition in our YouTube video below.)

Further information

  • The competition is sponsored by Baroness Hayman, the Lord Speaker, who funds the programme through her Woolsack Fund, a charitable trust she established primarily to encourage greater understanding among young people of the role of Parliament and the House of Lords.
  • The House of Lords Communications Committee considers communications policy and was formed to look at a broad range of broadcasting and communications issues.
  • The Hansard Society’s Citizenship Education Programme works with young people through schools and colleges to educate and inform them about parliamentary democracy and develop innovative ways to involve them in participatory democratic activities.
  • Parliament’s Education Service is supporting the competition. The Education Service works with schools and Members of both Houses of Parliament to support young people in developing their understanding of parliament and democracy.
  • Entries for the competition will be judged by the Hansard Society’s Citizenship Education Programme. Their shortlist will then be judged by a distinguished panel of experts including Baroness Hayman and Members of the Communications Committee.

Image: iStockphoto

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