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Hello year eight.

My name's Mrs. White, and today, I'm going to be your citizenship teacher.

Before we get started, go and grab a pen and some paper and then clear the area, we'll get ready for the lesson, and then we'll get going.

So today the title of the lesson is, Can Citizens Change Laws? So let's have a look and see what this lesson's all about.

Now, I'd be surprised if you've never uttered the words, that's not fair, in your life.

That's not fair.

You might've even said it recently.

Your sibling ate the last biscuit, You can't have the birthday party you wanted, maybe you saw injustice on the TV and realised it was wrong.

So how can we, as citizens in England, have an influence over how the laws are made in our country? Well before we think about that, we need to know what fairness is.

So, let's have a look at that.

Fairness is about treating people equally, or in a way that is considered right or reasonable.

It's also about making sure people have equal access to justice in the eyes of the law.

We have an obligation to each other to be fair, so the decisions we make are free from discrimination.

But you might say to yourself, how can I influence change, I'm just a kid? I'm in year eight, I'm 12 years old, 13 years old, coming up.

How on earth can I do that? Let's have a look.

The first thing is, I want you to think about things that you'd change, things that are unjust and unfair in our country.

So I'm going to get you to make a list of things in this country that you think are unfair.

And I want you to write down why each issue isn't fair and who or what you think may be affected by it.

So you might manage to come up with three or four ideas, so pause the video and have a go at writing down that list.

Okay, you might have quite a few possible answers.

So let's have a look at something you might have written down.

So one example of something that's unfair is some people are homeless.

This means that they aren't getting their human rights, so shelter, food and often healthcare.

It means it's harder to get a job and to get out of the situation they're in.

This isn't fair because homeless people have less life chances than others.

Another is that some children can't access online lessons.

You might've found this out from discussing with your friends.

Maybe there's lots of other children in the house and you're all fighting over a laptop.

Not having IT or an internet connection means that some students are missing out on lessons whilst we're on lockdown.

This isn't fair because it might disadvantage them in the future because they may not achieve as much in future exams and the experiences and things that they've learnt, they've missed out on what you've missed out in terms of lockdown learning.

So, what are you going to learn this lesson? So, we're going to look at the way we can influence lawmakers in our parliamentary system.

Parliamentarians, they're the people that are in parliament and can actually change the laws and make laws for us.

So we're going to have a look at how a law is passed, and in that, we're going to look at the progress of a bill through the Houses of Parliament to become law.

Now, we looked at that last lesson, but this is a little recap.

We're going to look at the methods of influencing our lawmakers, how we can campaign to get people on our side, and how do we get in touch with those people.

We're going to look at democracy in action and we're going to use a case study of a citizen who changed the law and his name is PC Dave Wardell and his dog Finn.

And this campaign is to change the penalties for people who injure Service Animals, so animals that are injured whilst they're serving the police, or the army, or whoever else they work for.

Now before we go any further, there's another thing I'd like you to consider, and that's something called democracy.

You may have heard that we live in a democracy and a democracy means rule by the people.

The name is used for different forms of government where the people can take part in the decisions that affect the way their community is run.

So you might think, well, I'm still only 13, how can I do this? Well, we're going to find out today and hopefully you will be interested in taking part in democracy yourself.

Okay, let's recap how a law is passed in parliament.

So, first thing is the proposal for the law, the bill, is read in the House of Commons.

Now it's read out loud, and the reason for that is that a long time ago we used to have to hand write everything and they didn't photocopy stuff, and we didn't have the internet.

Everything was written by hand and it was much easier for people to listen to somebody read something than everybody have to take turns in reading the item.

So we call it a reading, and the bill is read out.

Now this gives people lots of time to think about what they're going to do, whether they oppose the bill or they approve it.

And then they have a debate at a second reading.

Once that's happened, MPs then can make amendments to the bill if they want.

They can put some changes in, and the bill committee looks at the changes or amendments that they want, and they have a vote on each change.

Then the bill has a third reading and they debate that.

And there's a final vote is taken and the bill is either passed or rejected.

Then the bill goes to the House of Lords and they suggest amendments.

So they think, we're experts in lots of different areas and we don't think this bit will work, so let's send it back with a change.

And it goes backwards and forwards for a bit.

And that's called ping-pong.

And then when everybody's happy, it gets given to the Queen and it's signed by the King or then Queen and this is called Royal Assent.

So that means that the Queen has approved the bill and it becomes law.

So now we're going to have a look at a case study and the law's nickname is Finn's Law.

And this is a film from Defra, and it explains the background story about what happened, and why Finn's Law came about.

So, let's watch that now.

What happened to Finn was the worst night of my life.

One night, on the 5th of October, 2016, we were on duty and we ended up chasing a robbery suspect through the streets.

Finn bravely put himself in the way of that attack and saved my life.

I think he ended up having four hours of surgery, where they removed two sections of lung because he had stab wounds to his lungs.

After Finn's surgery, he spent three days in the vet.

I spent most of those three days in the waiting room trying to catch a glimpse of him and spend some time with him.

To see my best friend go through that, You know, we lived together, worked together, spent more time with Finn than I did with any of my family.

And he eventually came home three days later and I'd set up a bed here in the living room with Finn and for the next four weeks, helped him through his physical recovery, but of course, he was helping me through my mental recovery.

He was very withdrawn for the first couple of weeks.

He must've been in a huge amount of pain.

He was on pain medication as well.

But in the weeks after that, you really noticed him start to pick up.

He went and grabbed his tennis ball and threw it at me.

It was at that point that I knew that he really wanted to get up, and get on, and potentially go back to work.

On guidance from the vet, we started to slowly build up his exercise.

And then we started back some of his training to see how he would take it.

And he very quickly showed that he wanted to get on, move on, get back into work.

If at any point he had shown signs of not wanting to do it, or shied away from any exercise, then I would have retired him there and then.

Finn and I were back out on the street 11 weeks and one day after nearly potentially losing our lives.

I owe Finn a huge amount, not only from that night but carrying on from there.

I say to people, not only did he save me that night, but then he continued to save me after that.

Companion dogs or dogs that are trained in therapy help people through some of life's difficulties, and really are fantastic at recognising that something's not quite right with you or that you're struggling.

to get that placing that the Queen stayed up late one night and signed up on Finn's law was the best news ever, absolutely incredible.

We would hope Finn's law is never used but to know that, you know, now, if something like this was to happen again, the suspect would potentially face some form of punishment.

It gives us all just a little bit peace of mind.

And I know that it'll give the nation, that the amazing supporters we have, thousands and thousands of supporters.

I know that it'll give them some peace of mind, knowing that these dogs will now be going out onto the street with their own law.

And so I hope that police dogs have a very long service in British police because it's a way to judge a nation on just how they treat their animals and how they look after them and how they protect them in any way they can.

You know, I think the Animal Welfare Act is a fantastic piece of legislation.

And we're so proud now that Finn's Law sits within that piece of legislation.

So I really hope you enjoyed watching that story.

You can see how much Dave Wardell feels about his dog, but also how that story could actually touch the hearts and minds of people.

So let's have a look at the campaign and how that would have worked.

The first stage is to find out what legislation exists about the subject, what's out there? Are they laws already? So a good place to start is the government's website to find laws that exist.

And PC Dave Wardell found that there weren't any laws that protected police dogs and horses.

And don't forget, other service animals, such as dogs that work in prisons, in customs and excise, dogs that work for the army.

There's lots of service animals out there, and they are vulnerable in terms of, you know, coming across people that might hurt them.

The next job is to build public support for the campaign.

Now, Dave Wardell got volunteers to help him and the campaigners all worked together and they use different ways to build support.

They need to get attention from as many people as possible for their issue.

Public support can help create change That's why it's important to get people to help you.

Another way to show how much support you can get is an E petition.

Now, an E petition is like a traditional petition but it's online.

By getting citizens to sign, it shows the government the amount of public support there is for the issue.

Now a traditional petition used to be a massive stack of signatures, people's addresses to show each individual person that supported it.

So you could see how going online is a better way of doing that.

So after 10,000 signatures, government will respond.

And at 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.

This is not guaranteed.

The government doesn't always agree to that debate.

Now social media is used to spread the message.

It actually only took 11 days to get enough support to persuade the government to hold a debate.

And you could see here, the story from that's on Twitter and the story spread so quickly and they got so much support that they were amazed.

They were so happy about that.

Another way to find out opinions is to use surveys.

You can stop people on the street and ask them questions.

You can email them surveys.

You can put links in social media.

Surveys find out a wide range of different information.

Oops, sorry.

Then get the issue in the news, both local and national, newspapers have an online presence too.

And campaigners try to get journalists to follow and report the story.

If it's a story like this police dog story that makes people really want to get involved.

If they really care about it, then the newspapers know that it will sell their newspapers.

So it's to everyone's benefit to actually have have your story in the news.

Another thing you can do is lobbying politicians.

And this is really important.

Lobbying is where you meet with them or you contact them.

You're trying to persuade them to support you.

And it used to be called lobbying because you met people in the lobby of the house of commons, but now you can email them and you can telephone them.

And you don't have to worry about that.

But it's about getting them to support you, and politicians can communicate with relevant ministers.

They can have a bill passed through parliament, they can secure debates and get others involved.

And you can make an appointment to see your MP at their regular surgery.

So they should be easily accessible to you as your member of parliament.

Now, if you actually get the government interested in your issue, then change is more likely.

The government has no support in parliament, as their political party is the biggest.

So their bills are more likely to be passed into law as they will get enough votes.

Interestingly, Finn's law was actually a private member's bill and the politician that supported that was someone called Oliver Held Now, what I'd like you to do is to do this task.

I'd like you to imagine that you were planning a campaign.

I want you to choose one of the ideas from the beginning of the lesson.

And I'd like you to make a flow chart for things you would need to do to get your campaign out there.

So imagine you're doing it, write that down.

So sort of plan if you like.

Once you've done that, then you can restart the slideshow.

So this is the sort of thing that you might've done.

And this is a typical flow chart.

So we've got starter campaign, find out what needs to change.

This is a good time to research and find out if there are laws already and find out what's actually happening there.

Get support, so contact people tell people about it, have meetings, use social media, do surveys.

Start a petition using social media again, send everything out there, lobby politicians.

So get that member of parliament to actually support you and share your story far and wide.

So get in the newspapers, get onto TV, tell everybody your story.

And then you can get supportive government to propose a bill.

If you do those things, you're well on the right way.

Now you can also look at Parliament's website.

And in this example, I've searched animal welfare, service animals.

And this is the actual bill that Dave Wardell and his supporters and Oliver Held got through the House of Commons.

So it took about two years for this to happen, but you can actually see each stage and what happened in each stage.

And it got sent on the 8th of April, 2019.

Oh, apologies, so what have we learnt this lesson? Well we're look at the ways we can influence lawmakers in our parliamentary system.

So we've found out how a law is passed.

So the progress of the bill through the house of parliament to become law, we've looked at the methods of influencing our lawmakers.

So how can we campaign to get people on our side? We've also looked at democracy in action.

How citizens can change the law.

For PC Dave Wardell with Finn and his campaign to change the penalties for people who injure service animals.

So we've looked at a good case study.

Now I want you to look at that case study in a little bit more depth now.

So this is takeaway task.

It's not homework, obviously you can't hand it into me, but you can share your ideas on Twitter.

If you ask an adult to help you #LearnWithOak.

What I'd like to do is read the case study about PC Dave Wardell and Finn's law, which is attached to the worksheet.

And I want you to share your story with at least three people.

You can tell them face to face or share what you've learnt in another way, it's up to you.

However you want to do that, but I want you to tell them what inspires you about his campaign.

What difference does getting political support make and what campaign and strategies has he used? So that's the takeaway task.

So there we go year eight, that's the end of the lesson.

I hope that you do the quiz at the end to check your learning.

I hope you've enjoyed it today.

And you found it informative, and I look forward to seeing you again next time, bye.