Students could visit Iraq, says headteacher

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STUDENTS in Bury St Edmunds could venture to Iraq after their teachers completed an eye opening visit to the recovering nation.

A group of 10 to 12 pupils from King Edward VI School could visit schools in the once war-torn Gulf state in March to demonstrate student leadership.

The ‘mission’ is being pitched by headteacher Geoff Barton, who recently returned from the country where he and three other colleagues shared their experiences about student leadership.

He said: “We talked to the British Council and the Youth Sport Trust, who organised our visit, and they’ve been saying security is fine. In a sense, we needed to see that ourselves first. Parents will want reassurance that we’ve really investigated that.”

During their five day trip, they stayed in the city of Erbil – recorded as one of the oldest places of human civilisation – and went to some schools.

Mr Barton said: “There aren’t enough schools for the population so they have this shift system with boys in the morning and girls in the afternoon. They were very run down with few resources. On the other hand we saw children always treating teachers with respect and staff who were very passionate working in difficult conditions, which was very inspiring.”

They then stopped off at two schools, in Sulaimaniya, which are partnered with King Edward VI.

Mr Barton added: “They’ve been across to us so we saw lots of children leading the lessons. They’re on a mission to rebuild education there and the more we support that the better.”