The House of Lords launched a six-month trial programme with Debate Mate, an educational charity which works to improve social mobility by teaching debating skills to young people through peer-to-peer mentoring, on Monday 19 November.
The pilot programme will see peers offering seminars, Q&A sessions and debating activities in visits to after-school clubs. Working together, the Lords and Debate Mate hope to increase young people’s core skills, including confidence, creative thinking, fluency and ability to express themselves and their thoughts.
The pilot will also help young people understand more about the role of the Lords and Parliament, as well as the political process in general.
The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza, said:
“Debate Mate is a wonderful organisation that works with young people all over the country, particularly in areas of high child poverty. It purposefully targets the hard to reach students in our cities and teaches them skills that will be useful to them throughout lives.
“Now, with this pilot partnership, members of the Lords will be able to further the work we already do through our Peers in Schools programme and offer an extra dimension to the excellent work that Debate Mate does.”