Our future leaders? Manchester students pick up prestigious political prizes

Three Manchester Grammar schoolkids could be heading for Westminster after successfully winning a selection of coveted political competitions.

Harrison Engler, 16, and Jake Kennedy, 17, were awarded top prizes in the Constitution Preamble competition, organised by the House of Commons.

And 18-year-old Alan Petri placed first in the prestigious History of Parliament competition.

Emma Kilheeney, teacher of politics at MGS, explained the awards would stand them in good stead for the future.

“We could not be more proud of Harrison, Jake and Alan’s achievements,” she said.

“Not only have they demonstrated that they are already leading their peers nationwide in political discourse, but they have also been incredible ambassadors for the School on this national platform.”

Harrison and Jake were winners of the under-18 category and attended the Speaker’s House to collect their prizes.

The competition, which is open to the public, aims to find who can write the best preamble, or introductory statement, for a modern Written Constitution for the UK.

It is fronted by the Chair of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform select committee, MP Graham Allen.

Jake, who lives in Rusholme and hopes to study politics and economics at Edinburgh University from September revealed he was surprised to be awarded such an honour.

“I never expected that we would win this competition,” he said.

“The opportunity to attend the Speaker’s House and meet him was a fantastic experience that I hope will serve me well in my future political studies.”

Alan won the national History of Parliament Competition with his essay entitled ‘To what extent can Margaret Thatcher be seen as the architect of Scottish and Welsh devolution?’

The competition invites A-level students to write an essay on a subject of their own choice, related to the parliamentary or political history of Britain and Ireland.

Alan, who has been offered a place to read history and politics at Lady Margaret Hall College, Oxford, from September, attended parliament on Wednesday March 4 to collect his prize – presented to him by the Speaker of the House.

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