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Political Neutrality in Schools

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:59 am on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Marcus Fysh Marcus Fysh Conservative, Yeovil 10:59 am, 10th March 2020

I will come on to some of those issues, but the hon. Lady makes some valid points.

One of the big challenges facing us generally is why children are more likely than ever before to suffer from stress or have mental health problems. That is partly due to better diagnosis, which is a positive step, but there has undoubtedly been a rise in the number of young people with high anxiety. The role of social media and mobile phones in that is for another time, but being exposed to aggressive tribal politics and told that the country is being run by a very bad man certainly is not going to help.

This area becomes more complex when we consider that we want our young people to be interested in and engaged with politics. At a time when anything can be researched at the click of a button and the number of sources on any given subject is rising exponentially, it is more important than ever that children are taught the skills to make reasoned assessments and form balanced opinions. I am sure many of today’s politicians were inspired at school by certain teachers to choose the path of politics. The more people who choose to get involved and run for office, the better.