The Lord Speaker's office manages the scheme as part of the House of Lords outreach programme, which raises awareness of the Lords and encourages people to get involved in its work.
Members, whose backgrounds include careers as academics, former teachers, scientists, lawyers, former cabinet ministers and civil servants, have visited almost a thousand schools.
Since the Peers in Schools programme launched in September 2007, members have spoken to around 50,000 pupils. Work has included supporting the teaching of the citizenship and social studies curriculum (KS 4 and 5) and encouraging students to learn more about politics and Parliament.
The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza is a strong advocate of the programme and says: ‘Events in Westminster can sometimes seem very remote but it is vital that people understand what goes on and how they are able to interact with parliamentarians to promote and progress causes which are important to them. I hope that Peers in Schools can contribute to developing that understanding among school students.’
Arranging a Peers in Schools visit
To arrange a visit from a House of Lords member to your school or sixth form college, contact the Lord Speaker's office on 020 7219 6444 or email email@example.com.
What schools say about Peers in Schools
‘I just wanted to say that the Baroness’s visit was fantastic! She was warm, humorous, approachable, eminently qualified and entertaining! She made a huge impression on my students and completely changed some rather inaccurate impressions of the House of Lords.’ (sixth form college, Cambridgeshire)
‘The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the talk and the opportunity to ask questions on the House of Lords and [the peer’s] wider interests – they really appreciated his openness in answering. I hope that this is only the start of our involvement in schemes like this from the House of Lords!’ (Northern Ireland Academy)
‘I would highly recommend the outreach programme from the House of Lords and indeed to schools looking to engage pupils in UK politics and the workings of Parliament.’ (South London school)