Mosaic students from Park View Academy, Westminster Academy and the winning Enterprise Challenge team from Eden Girls’ School participated in an exciting day’s worth of visits to a special Royal Residence, the House of Lords and No. 10 Downing Street, organized as part of the Naz Legacy Foundation’s Diversity Day.
The Diversity Programme was launched in 2014 by then Deputy Prime Minister Rt. Hon Nick Clegg, and is designed to help educate young minds about the importance state institutions, and the importance of voting. Building on the work of the late Naz Bokhari OBE, the UK’s first Asian Head Teacher of a state secondary school, the programme promotes the importance of public service and an inclusive sense of democracy: where learning about how you can contribute to your country is the right of all, and where your background should never stand in the way of your aspiration.
In total 50 pupils from five London schools, including the three from Mosaic, joined the Diversity Programme this year, supported generously the Times Education Supplement and the Prime Minister. During the day’s programme, the students visited a London Royal Residence, the Houses of Parliament, and No.10 Downing Street. Notable individuals, including the Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Stowell, joined the students on the day to them the work of their institutions, as well as their own paths and the roles that they play.
Nizam Uddin, Mosaic’s Head of Communications, said: “Mosaic is delighted to partner once again with the Naz Legacy Foundation on this important and pioneering Diversity Day. Through our mentoring programmes, we help instil the confidence in our young people to believe they can be anything they want to be, but to actually have the opportunity to physically visit these stately institutions like we have done today– a privilege money can’t buy – really drives home that message in the best way possible.”
Feedback from Mosaic attendees on the day included:
Sumayyah– a student from Eden Girls’ School: “Diversity – before this day I never really knew what diversity was. Now, I realise that it means loads of people (of all cultures, ages and types) coming together to celebrate something amazing. Being British.”
William – a student Park View School: “I think the trip helps with aspirations because previously I thought that a lot of these types of places were for certain people only, like have those who have a rich background. There is still a lot to do with class and privilege but I realised I can also make it there if I want to.”
Oscar – a student from Westminster Academy: “This gave me an insight into the royal family, more particularly I enjoyed finding out how important of a role Prince Charles had, and it made the whole political system seem less distant to me’
Mehmetcan – a student from Park View School: “I personally enjoyed going to the Houses of Parliament as when I’m older would one day like to become Prime Minister and this has really widened my horizon into how important this job is, plus this trip has really affected my self-esteem in a positive way and made me believe in myself more. Furthermore I would like to really thank you with this beautiful trip that I never in my life would’ve thought that I could’ve been invited to, I really appreciated the fact that I got to learn more about my home country. It was huge opportunity to meet Tina Stowell who taught us that anyone can do whatever they want with their life, as long as they work hard.”
Chris Hill, a teacher from Park View School added: “The chance to visit a Royal Resident, 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament is not something many of us ever get to experience, even less so for students at our school. For many, these institutions are seen as an almost parallel universe, something reserved for the privileged and not for students from often disadvantaged backgrounds. They see them on TV, hear about them, but often find them unobtainable. Experiences like Monday are vital for our students. They start to break down the idea that Parliament is an exclusive club, that class will always prevail over hard work, that it’s who you know and not what you know and it shows them if they dedicate themselves to a goal, anything is achievable and nothing is out of reach. While there is still much work to be done to make it a level playing field for students from our school, your organisation is doing vital work that can only help us instil in our students aspirations that go far beyond the classroom. Your engagement with the students was an added bonus as they need to see how positive role models, other than their teachers, interact with each other. It will help shape them as individuals.”