An Audience with Angela Rayner on International Women’s Day
An audience with Angela Rayner took place on Friday 8 March to celebrate International Women’s Day and contribute to the College’s Essential Life Skills Project. As Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Angela, shared her empowering and inspirational experiences including the hurdles she has faced as a woman in Politics, and how she embraces and overcomes these challenges. “As a feminist with a capital F”, Angela didn’t hold back on her enthusiastic celebration of modern women, highlighting the need for greater gender equality in Politics and beyond. A northern woman from a working class background, Angela’s down to earth, straight talking approach really engaged and motivated the students.
Reflecting on her role as Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Angela detailed her ambitious plans to improve education; acknowledging the need for a National Curriculum reform, written by an independent body of experienced teachers. Angela was honest about her own experiences of education, having not achieved any formal qualifications, she feels strongly that vocational routes should be given an equal level of value and respect. Angela also mentioned the importance of young people’s votes in the recent general election, praising the political enthusiasm of the students in attendance.
Sujata Dey and Tommy Lax, students, hosted the question and answer event with an impressive level of maturity and professionalism. Angela praised both their confidence and the intellectual contributions from the audience. Sujata, Tommy and the student audience were a real credit to OSFC.
Angela had encouraging words which left both staff and students feeling inspired and empowered. Her key messages advised everyone to embrace individuality, be resilient in the face of judgement, and in a world of negative social media posts to not be too self-critical.
Following the event, Angela stayed to interact with students individually, posing for photos and answering some more personal questions. One student was particularly encouraged by Angela’s journey and thanked her for reassuring him about her path to success.
Principal, Jayne Clarke, thoroughly enjoyed the event: ‘We were delighted to welcome Angela for a Q&A session, hosted by our students, Sujata and Tommy, on International Women’s Day. It was inspiring to hear about her career journey and insights into the world of politics, which she presented in a really engaging way, encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.’
Angela Rayner also supports the ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign to increase funding for sixth form education, which was subject to deep cuts in 2011 and 2013, with the present funding rate being frozen since then.