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9th Mar 2021
It was far from the usual online lesson for staff and students from two of Abingdon & Witney College’s courses last Friday.
Students from the Level 2 Public Services BTEC course and the degree-level Business Management & Practice course were joined virtually by Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and International Development and MP for Oxford West and Abingdon.
During the sessions, students were able to discuss the lesson themes with Layla and ask questions about her experiences as an MP, along with showcasing how they have adapted to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is not the first time Layla has engaged with the College, having officially opened the Advanced Skills Centre at the Abingdon campus in 2018, and visiting in 2019 to observe art installations from our Art & Design students.
In the Business Management & Practice course, students discussed HR Management in Practice, including issues around redundancy and employee relationships. The group discussed an example manager/subordinate relationship scenario, and the manager being able to conduct fair performance management and pay decisions, or the perceptions of fellow employees of even-handedness.
As a Liberal MP, Layla was very supportive of individuals being free to form relationships but that transparency was very important. She also described the power imbalance that might be at play and the importance of ensuring the PA in the example, was not placed under undue pressure.
The Public Services lesson focused on crime and its effects on society, with students given an area to research and look at crime statistics, and then brainstorm strategies to prevent and reduce that crime.
Layla talked about her role as an MP and what issues are raised by her constituents. She chatted to learners about their concerns about coming back to college including one learner who is a young carer, and stressed the importance of testing.
Jacqui Canton, Principal at Abingdon & Witney College said:
“We were delighted to welcome Layla Moran MP to the college last week, all be it in a virtual way! Ms Moran was able to join two different live online lessons and commented how they felt very much like “real” classes. Our students and staff have responded so fantastically to the
challenges of online learning so it was great to be able showcase some of the amazing work that has been going on.
We know that our students are looking forward to returning to campus more often as soon as it is safe to do so, but this visit was a positive way to recognise approaching the end of this period of lockdown.”
Speaking after Friday’s lessons, Layla Moran said:
“I was delighted to be invited to an online visit at Abingdon & Witney College last week. I was very impressed with the reflective insights of the students and spoke to them about my own experiences as an MP. It was a pleasure to see how the college has managed to thrive during the pandemic. I'm very proud to have such a fantastic education establishment in our community, and I want to congratulate the teachers, support staff and students for everything they're achieving.”