Kensington Aldridge Academy student quizzes Council's Deputy Leader

Thursday 30 April 2020

A year seven student from Kensington Aldridge Academy grilled Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Deputy Leader during an exclusive lockdown video interview.

Budding journalist Ella Norris joined Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith on Zoom to question the Stanley Ward councillor on everything from engaging young people in politics, to the environment and the Council’s support for vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ella wanted to know how Cllr Taylor-Smith became involved in local politics, how politicians from different parties work together for the good of their residents and how the Council supports Kensington and Chelsea’s diverse communities.

The Deputy Leader also took the chance to quiz Ella on how she is coping with lockdown, what it’s like studying remotely and how councillors and politicians can inspire younger people to get involved in politics.

The interview will feature on KAA News, the school’s regular video news bulletin created and hosted by students.

Cllr Taylor-Smith said:

“Ella is a bright girl and I enjoyed answering her insightful questions and having the chance to ask her a couple of my own.

“It was particularly inspiring to hear how Kensington Aldridge Academy has minimised the disruption to Ella and her classmates’ studies during this unsettling time and it reminds me of the gratitude we all owe to teachers and other key workers.”

Ella Norris said:

“I really enjoyed my interview with the councillor because it let me have a really cool experience and it let me find out all about our local area and about politics; I hope the councillor enjoyed it.

“I think it could be good for one of my life aspirations, as one of the many careers that I have in mind is a journalist, and since I have done this amazing interview it could mean that I would be able to do more interviews like this in the future. Also I have a great new story to tell now!”

Kensington Aldridge Academy English teacher Clare Kitteringham added:

“KAA News was set up last year to give students a voice and to get them excited about careers in journalism and the media. It is run by the students and covers the issues they feel are important.

“As we continue to expand the news team, opportunities like this, where the students are able to talk to decision makers and question the strong adult voices in their community, are invaluable in giving KAA News a life beyond the four walls of the school and allowing students to engage with their wider community.”