In the first project of its kind between the House of Lords and the BBC, your views on the value of good parenting were fed directly to Members who spoke in the House of Lords debate on the role of early parenting in preparing a child for success at school on Thursday 3 February.
Before the debate, people were able to post comments on the subject through the BBC’s Have Your Say and Democracy Live websites, through Parliament’s Facebook page and Lords of the Blog, as well as speak directly with Lord Northbourne – who tabled the debate – in a live web chat.
A summary of your comments was forwarded to the Members of the Lords taking part in the debate to help inform them of related issues affecting everyday lives.
During and after the debate people could continue to respond to the discussion through the web forums, as well as watch it live on Parliament TV, as well as BBC Democracy Live.
The online initiative aimed to provide an accessible way for people to engage with the House of Lords and share their views on issues that concern them. It also gave Members of the Lords the opportunity to gain insights from a wider audience to inform their work.
Members who took part in the debate
Lord Northbourne, a Crossbench Member who speaks regularly in the House of Lords about education and children, focused on how an important minority of the nation’s children are today failing to achieve their potential in school. He outlined several strategies which could help and support disadvantaged parents in their parenting.
Other Members scheduled to take part in the debate include:
- Baroness Crawley (Labour), a former teacher and youth theatre leader
- The Bishop of Oxford, who will be making his maiden speech
- Lord Hill of Oareford (Conservative), Schools Minister at the Department for Education
- Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench), a former primary school teacher and university professor
- Baroness Benjamin (Liberal Democrat), former children’s television presenter
- Baroness Hollins (Crossbench), expert in learning difficulties
- Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Crossbench), former chair of the Inner London Juvenile Court
- Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Conservative), who will be making her maiden speech
- Baroness Sharp of Guildford (Liberal Democrat), Governor for a Guildford primary school
- Baroness Massey of Darwen (Labour), a former French and English teacher who also ran a community playgroup for seven years
- Baroness Walmsley (Liberal Democrat), a former teacher and ambassador for the NSPCC
Debates on specific issues of public policy account for nearly one third of business in the House of Lords chamber and are an opportunity to discuss important topical issues and draw the government’s attention to concerns and questions.
Members have a correspondingly wide range of professional expertise and specialist knowledge to underpin the arguments they deploy in the debates and, in this way, the debates can play an important role in shaping future policy and laws.
Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.