House of Lords recognise the school’s strong international links in discussion about Palestine and Israel.
In a question to the Government, Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked what steps were being proposed to encourage schools and youth organisations in the UK to twin with similar schools and organisations in Israel and Palestine. During the discussion in the House of Lords, Henry Beaufort was named as a good example of a proactive school.
Henry Beaufort School has been linked with Khaleel Al Rahman School in Ramallah, Palestine, since 2006 and, in June 2008, students undertook an investigation into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The project resulted in a classroom video conference with a representative from the Israeli Embassy and a visit from Naira Antoun from the Council for Arab-British Understanding who discussed the issues with the students (more details here
A similar project of study has been planned for the second half of this year’s summer term.
Below is an abridged copy of the House of Lords transcript:
Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: My Lords, an enormous amount of twinning work goes on between individual schools and international schools. I have obviously asked the question the noble Lord has put. The reliable data on the number of twinned schools come from the International School Award. I am afraid that I can only say reliably that a small number of schools are twinned with schools in the Palestinian Territories. I cannot say on the record how many might be in Gaza. Obviously it is an extremely difficult situation for Palestinian children who are resident in Gaza….
Baroness Walmsley: My Lords….if a UK school were to twin with both an Israeli and a Palestinian school it might make it easer for the Israeli and Palestinian schools to speak to each other through their arrangement with the UK school.
Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: My Lords, I am sure that the noble Baroness has the kernel of a good idea there. The Henry Beaufort School, in Hampshire, has twinned with a Palestinian school. It is keen, from the reports that we have seen, to twin with an Israeli school. There are interesting and innovative ideas that could be developed.