Stradbroke High students help design government department’s new website

Six business students were invited to the offices of a government department in London to help design a new website.

The Year 10 pupils spent the day at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) headquarters where they met officers and a Norfolk MP.

The co-operation started in May when the group met with representatives from BIS at the Chamber of Commerce offices in Ipswich. They were shown a draft website aimed at improving and simplifying the information government gives to small businesses who want to employ people for the first time.

The team from London were impressed with the feedback the pupils gave and amended the website in several places and invited the high school students for a follow-up session. They were especially interested in their views around the new digital communication lines.

A conference room in the BIS state-of-the-art office block in Victoria Street was their centre for the day. The head of digital communications, Paul Meluish, discussed with them the way in which information was distributed using social networks and the director of labour markets, Ceri Smith, dropped in for a chat.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, minister for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs, later gave them a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. He also fielded questions about his role as a minister.

Lawrie Hammond, a teacher at Stradbroke High, said: 'This was a day to remember for these six, not many of us are able to see first-hand government in action but to have an input as well is really special. I don't know whether any of them will head their careers towards government but it has been a great learning experience and inspirational too.'

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Andrew Bloom, the school's head teacher, added: 'We try in every possible way to expand the pupil's aspirations and do this as part of their school education. Conventional employment opportunities are limited in North Suffolk, but if we can create the right attitude and approach then they will create their own opportunities.'

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