On Tuesday 24 February 2015, Parliament marks the ongoing progress towards the opening of its new Education Centre by burying a time capsule one year after planning permission was granted for its construction.
Members of the House of Commons Commission and 28 young people from across the UK will dedicate the time capsule to the thousands of additional students who will be able to visit Parliament as a result of the new Centre, due to open in summer 2015.
The young people attending the ceremony are the winners of the 2015 Speaker’s School Council Awards, an annual competition that recognises school councils’ projects that have made a positive difference in their communities. This year, the winning schools are from Haringey in London, Penarth in Wales, Barnoldswick in Lancashire, and Cheadle in Cheshire.
The time capsule will include both MPs’ and young people’s visions for the future of democracy, along with mementos to mark the date of the ceremony including; a copy of the House of Commons Order Paper, a 750th birthday card, and 4 Magna Carta posters to mark the 2015 anniversaries of the De Montfort Parliament (1265) and the sealing of the Magna Carta (1065).
Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, said:
“I am proud that the Commission and I are able to mark this moment in the creation of Parliament’s new Education Centre with these award winners. School councils make valuable contributions to their communities, while giving students what is often their first taste of democratic practice. It is therefore very fitting that these young leaders from are here to celebrate the building of the new Parliamentary Education Centre which will allow more young people to visit Parliament and develop their understanding of and connection to democracy.”
Maliha Asif, Head Girl at Ysgol y Deri in Penarth, said:
“It's amazing! Incredible that out of all the schools in the country, we won! What are the chances? It was definitely worth all the hard work. The experience will leave us with lots of good memories.”