Videos

Overview

Films and short videos about how Parliament works. Most suitable for key stages 3 and 4.


MPs: In their own words

Watch MP interviewsMPs reflect on politics, popularity, parties, procedure and much, much more in over 40 short video clips.

 

You've Got the Power video clips

Watch You've Got the PowerWatch clips from our award-winning animated film series 'You've Got the Power', including 'Democracy? You Decide' by author and journalist Danny Wallace.

 

The General Election Xplained

Comedian Jay Foreman presenting The General Election XplainedFollow comedian Jay Foreman as he explains the general election process, in a fun and accessible way, and asks questions like why young people should take part.

 

Order free DVDs

General Election DVDSchools can order free copies of The General Election Xplained on DVD. 

The General Election Xplained comes in two versions: one aimed at key stage 3 students and one aimed at key stages 4 and 5. Both versions are included on the same DVD, along with a trailer and a shortened version (eight minutes).

To order the resource, please contact:

Edcoms
FREEPOST RR59
Lakeside
Rochester
Kent
ME2 4BR

Telephone: 0871 472 3016
Fax: 01634 290175
Email: requests@edcoms.co.uk

MPs: In their own words

MPs reflect on politics, popularity, parties, procedure and much, much more in these short video clips


The world of Parliament

MPs explain some of the key institutions, procedures and processes that matter in Parliament.


On government and opposition

Claire Ward MPThe two big teams in Parliament. The political party with the most MPs in Parliament gets to form the UK government and run the country. But what does the opposition do?

 

Debating and voting in the House of Commons

Frank Doran MPDid you know votes in Parliament are called 'divisions'? Why's that? And MPs do a lot of debating in the House of Commons, but what makes for a persuasive speech?

 

Challenging and testing the government

MPs in opposition and on the backbenches have a few ways of finding out what's going on in government departments.


What are parliamentary questions?

Cheryl Gillan MPMPs regularly get the chance to ask questions of ministers about what's going on in government departments. But what are MPs trying to find out, and what do they hope to achieve?

 

Select committees and government departments

Mark Francois MPThe government is often under the microscope in select committees. Groups made up of MPs investigate matters of public interest by holding inquiries and checking the work of government departments.

 

On political parties

It's hard to understand the UK Parliament without understanding the role of political parties.


Party and Parliament

Cheryl Gillan MPMost MPs belong to a political party. A party is a group of people who share similar ideas about how the country should be run. So, what makes parties so important in Parliament?

 

Voting, whips and the party line

Natascha EngelMPs represent people from their constituencies, but they also represent the views of their own political party.

 

Elections and representing the people

Explore how MPs get to Parliament, and how they try to stay there by serving the people they represent.

Getting elected

 Parmjit Dhanda MPThere is one MP in Parliament for each of the 646 'constituencies' across the UK. But what is a constituency, and how does an MP come to represent one in the House of Commons?

 

How MPs represent their constituents

 Frank Doran MPEvery MP represents around 70,000 people living in their constituency. So what's involved with serving constituents? Is it possible to keep everyone happy?

 

Pressure groups and the media

Politics is about persuasion, and MPs get faced with a number of influences other than constituents and political parties.


Dealing with the media

Mark Francois MPTV, newspapers and the web are the public platforms on which MPs campaign, explain their decisions and communicate their work in Parliament to their constituents. Dealing with the media can be tricky though.

 

What kinds of people want to meet and influence MPs?

Natascha EngelLots of different people and groups try to influence lawmaking and discussion in Parliament. Who do you think MPs listen to the most when they are voting in the House of Commons?

 

Life on the back benches

By all accounts, it's a varied, busy job representing constituents, working in Westminster and deciding how to manage it all.


The work of a backbench MP

Lembit Opik MPMPs debate and vote on new laws, check the work of the government, and represent their constituents. But there doesn't seem to be a typical week.

 

Making decisions, or how to be an MP

Adam Afriyie MPThe constituency, the party and the press: just three views MPs might consider when making decisions. But what do they do when the choice is not clear?

 

Becoming unpopular

Nigel Evans MPKeeping the party and constituents happy are a big part of what keeps an MP in Parliament. Three MPs talk about the consequences of making unpopular decisions.

 

Watched all the videos?

Play MP For A WeekAll the MPs above were interviewed for our online game MP For A Week, aimed at 11-16 year olds. Why not have a go yourself? Try stepping into the shoes of an MP...

 

 

You've got the power

Watch clips from our award-winning animated film series 'You've got the power', including 'Democracy? You decide' by author and journalist Danny Wallace.

 

Parliament and government
Watch: Parliament and governmentPeople often mistake Parliament with the government. So what's the difference? An overview of the structure and purpose of Parliament.

 

Voting: What are elections?

What are elections and what reasons are there for voting? Part 1 of a brief guide to democracy and elections in the UK.

 

Voting: Election day

Eddie explaining election dayAll about how to vote on election day. Part 2 of a brief guide to democracy and elections in the UK.

 

Making laws: Where do laws come from?

Eddie at the cinemaFind out why we need laws and who creates them. Part 1 of a guide to law making in the UK.

 

Making laws: How is a law made?

A bill passing through ParliamentA proposal for a new law is called a bill. What are the different types of bill? Who gets a say in what goes into a bill? And how do bills become laws? Part 2 of a guide to law making in the UK.

 

Role of an MP

Lembit Opik MP, Claire Ward MP, Nigel Evans MPThe people of the UK vote for MPs to represent them in the Houses of Parliament. So what do MPs do? A guide to the work of UK Members of Parliament.

 

Democracy? You decide

Danny Wallace in 'Democracy? You decide'Author and journalist Danny Wallace takes a light-hearted look at the system of governance in the UK.

 

The Election Xplained

Follow comedian Jay Foreman as he discovers how general elections are run, what happens on polling day, and why it's important to have your say.

Below the trailer there are three versions of this video: one for key stage 3, one for key stages 4 to 5, and a shortened version.

 

Watch a trailer

Comedian Jay Foreman presents The General Election XplainedThis one-minute teaser introduces the general election process, using clips from the full version of The General Election Xplained.

 

The General Election Xplained in eight minutes

A polling station signThis shortened version of the documentary follows the progress of the election campaign in the Reading West constituency, right up to polling day and the formation of the coalition government. 

Listen to interviews about how young people can make their voice heard in elections and find out what happens on election day itself, with Jay Foreman.

 

The General Election Xplained for key stage 3

Comedian Jay Foreman in the lobby of the Houses of ParliamentStep inside Westminster Palace for a look at the House of Commons and House of Lords, and find out about their roles in our democracy. Then head out to the constituencies to find out how political campaigns are run and what you can do to let your local candidates know which issues matter to you.

 

The General Election Xplained for key stages 4 and 5

School children from the constituency of Reading West being interviewed about why they think young people should voteFind out the difference between Parliament and government, and look behind the scenes at the work of committees and other groups in the Houses of Parliament. Could you become an MP? Do you know how to register to vote? And how are governments formed? Find out the answers with Jay Foreman.

 

Order free DVDs

General Election DVDSchools can order free copies of The General Election Xplained on DVD, including all four versions described above. 

Please contact:

Edcoms
FREEPOST RR59
Lakeside
Rochester
Kent
ME2 4BR

Telephone: 0871 472 3016
Fax: 01634 290175
Email: requests@edcoms.co.uk

The alternative vote referendum

What is a referendum and when have they taken place in the past?

How does the alternative vote work and what makes it different from other voting systems used in the UK? Try the 'Compare the vote' activity to find out.

Find links to the best resources on the alternative vote, all in one place.

Booking and enquiries

Education Service
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 2TT
020 7219 4496
education@parliament.uk

Updates for teachers

Related information

What does the Lord Speaker do? And how can the House of Lords help young people address issues that concern them?