Jim Shannon – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2016-04-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Education and (b) Northern Ireland Executive on increasing the involvement of children and young people of school age in commemorative events for the First World War.

David Evennett

My Department works in close partnership with the Department for Education on the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours and Legacy 110 programmes for secondary schools, which we encourage schools to sign up to throughout the centenary period. To get even more young people involved in commemorations, we will soon launch the Great War Debate series for schools. We plan to hold one of these debates at the Clandeboye Estate, a First World War army training site, in November.

Children will take part in all our national commemorative events to mark the Battle of Jutland in Orkney on 31 May, and the Battle of the Somme at Thiepval and Manchester on 1 July. As one example, over 1300 school children are due to visit the Experience Field at Heaton Park in Manchester on 1 July, as part of the Somme commemorations.

Commemorative events in Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland WWI Centenary Committee. The Chair of the Committee attends Government Advisory Group meetings where all aspects of the centenary programmes are discussed.