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On Thursday 9th March The Fettes Political Society welcomed former First Minister of Northern Ireland, Lady (Arlene) Foster and former Education Minister Lord (Peter) Weir as guest speakers. In a Q&A format, Lady Foster and Lord Weir spoke about why they chose politics as a career and their respective routes into politics. Sharing fascinating insight into their experiences, they spoke about the role of ministers, leading Northern Ireland during the pandemic, and each of their new roles in the House of Lords – all topics directly linked to the A Level syllabus. They also shared their views on current peace building in Northern Ireland – a very relevant theme for our International Baccalaureate (IB) students.   

In making the most of this amazing opportunity to draw on the expertise of people who have been at the sharp end of politics for three decades, students asked a number of questions on a range of topics and issues including online safety and security (legislation which they are both currently addressing in Parliament), Women in Politics, and the future of the Lords. In concluding the evening both guests commented on how impressed they were by the Fettes students’ curiosity, engagement, and in the welcome they received.  

The Fettes Political Society has existed since the 1990s and hosts termly speaker meetings as well as organising mock elections and other events. Guests have included members of the Westminster and Holyrood Parliaments, current and former diplomats, and academics.    

All sixth formers taking A level or IB politics courses are members, but younger students often attend.  

A great evening of political insight and topical discussion.