QUEEN Elizabeth's School in Crediton has been recognised with an honorary plaque by the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme.

On Friday, July 14, former Member of the European Parliament for the South West England and Gibraltar constituency, Caroline Voaden and representatives from the European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK visited Queen Elizabeth's School to present awards to pupils and teachers for completing the Europe-wide EPAS educational programme, which includes developing partnerships with other schools across the continent.

The EU and UK continue to be close and special partners, as both share deeply held values and democratic principles.

These shared values highlight and emphasise upon the importance of parliamentary democracy and education for young people.

For this reason, the European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom (EPLO UK) has continued to offer a set of free educational programmes and resources to UK school pupils and college students.

These programmes and resources are designed to nurture mutual understanding, and ensure that future generations continue to learn, connect, and broaden their horizons together.

The European Parliament Ambassador School (EPAS) scheme is an EU-wide programme available in the UK since 2021 and connects its member schools to a network of 1,500 schools, and 23,000 pupils and students throughout Europe.

Sam Robbins, Senior EPAS Ambassador at Queen Elizabeth's School, said: “Students from Queen Elizabeth's School have gained a huge amount from participation in EPAS this year.

“Our junior ambassadors - Ethan, Theo, Kristin and Joe - have arranged a wide variety of events including assemblies, a digital surgery with a member of the House of Lords, and a languages competition which engaged both the school and the wider community.

“A highlight of the year was our participation in the Euroscola programme, where a group of students was able to travel to Strasbourg and participate in a debate in the European Parliament with schools from across Europe.

“The scheme has been a great way to promote leadership amongst our sixth formers and to build greater awareness of European politics and culture across the whole school.”

In recognition of their contribution to the EPAS programme, a selection of schools across the UK are recognised with the unveiling of an honorary plaque.

To celebrate their achievements, staff from EPLO UK, former Member of the European Parliament, Caroline Voaden, and school representatives gathered on Friday afternoon. 

Following the unveiling, Caroline Voaden held a Question and Answer session with a group of Junior Ambassadors, speaking to them about how they could play a vital role in shaping the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

The Former MEP said: "It's been a huge pleasure to hear about the work done here at QE as part of the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS).

“European parliamentary democracy is very different to our own system here in the UK, and the more we teach our students about different models of democracy the better.”

Ms Voaden added: “I've seen first-hand how a parliament can encourage the best in co-operative politics, working hard to find common ground, in stark contrast to what we see in Westminster. And it's great to see students in Devon learning more about this. Congratulations to QE for doing this programme.”

EPLO UK is driven by a commitment to young people in the United Kingdom and continues to encourage other schools across the UK to get involved in their variety of educational programmes, and to make use of the available learning resources.

Whether by attending an interactive presentation at Europe House (or alternately available in schools upon request), taking advantage of free learning resources, or seizing the opportunity to participate in the rewarding European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS), there truly is an option for every UK school. 

If you are interested in getting your school or college involved in the EPAS programme, please find more information on the EPLO UK website, and feel free to contact: [email protected] .