Andrew Percy MP

Andrew Percy MP

Member of Parliament for Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme

Youth Parliament & Goole High School

I was at Goole Leisure Centre this Saturday to meet with MYPs (Members of the Youth Parliament) and would-be MYPs (I'm pictued with participants from East Yorkshire) from across Yorkshire and the Humber area. I was asked to speak to them about campaigning and what it is like trying to get elected. I started by reminding them that they should be giving lessons to me as they had actually sat in the House of Commons and taken part in a debate there, something I obviously haven't done.

I had a great time and they seemed to enjoy what I had to say which I tried to keep as light and non-political as possible. The Youth Parliament is engaged in some great campaigns surrounding mental health issues and tuition fees. I was happy to tell them that personally I remain passionately opposed to tuition fees, introduced by Labour of course. I was honest though and pointed out that it was unlikely any party would ever reverse them now but that doesn't mean we cant seek improvements.


I was lucky and started University in York just at the end of the last Conservative government meaning that I received a grant and had my tuition fees paid. I would never have been able to go to Uni otherwise as my parents could never have afforded it, even my job at McDonalds wouldn't have made much difference. I know there is support available for poorer students but I still think tuition fees put off poorer students by sending out the message that Uni is only for richer families. When I taught on Bransholme in Hull I tried to encourage one of my really bright students to go to University. She told me, "My Dad says we cant afford it so I wont be going." She would have qualified for support but that didn't matter; the message tuition fees sends is that University is not for kids from poorer families.


I also took time last week to visit Goole High School to meet with their fantastic Headteacher, Mrs Tomasz. She is doing a cracking job at the school and the meeting also gave me an opportunity to discuss the new building work which the East Riding Council has helped to provide. I've done supply at the school before and I know it has a very diverse, and in many ways challenging, catchment. However, Mrs Tomasz is going great guns in helping to raise the reputation of the school and I hope to be able to support the school more in the future.

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