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Hello, I'm Mrs. Haynes, and today I'm going to be teaching you some citizenship.

Right, let's get started, shall we? So I'm just going to go back to that first slide together with you, if that's okay.

And if we have a look at that, the question at the top, what is the nature of the British Constitution? That's been the focus of several different lessons.

And today is the fifth lesson in a series of six that look at that over action question.

And today's lesson's specific focus is going to be that second question there that you can see, why do we have a separation of powers? So it might be a good idea if you start today by making note of the questions that we're going to be considering in today's lesson.

And while you're doing that as well, make sure that you're working in a nice quiet space where there's not too many distractions.

Okay, so now that you're back with me, just another kind of point of administration before we go any further.

You've already, I'm sure, got yourself something to write with and something to write on, some paper.

But it might be a good idea, if you don't have a ruler with you yet, perhaps to go and grab one.

Okay so just pause the video for a minute if you just need to vanish off and go get one of those, and then come back to me.

If you've already got one, then that's great, we'll just get going.


So as with most of my lessons, I'm just going to give you a bit of an overview as to what we're going to be doing in our lesson today.

So our lesson will have four different sections in order to consider why we have a separation of powers.

We'll start with an explanation of what is meant by power.

Then we'll have a brief identification of the role of each of these powers.

And then we'll have an explanation of why it is important that there is a separation of those powers.

And then we'll end with an exam style question on disagreements between the powers.

So that's what we're going to be doing today.

So let's start with that first one.

An explanation of what is meant by powers.

So, you can see on the screen there that I've got a definition that we're going to be referring to today.

So, power can be defined as the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others.

Now obviously there are lots of different ways in which the word power is used.

You can talk about physical power if someone's very strong.

You can talk about turning the power on when you switch on the light.

But the cone of meaning I'm going to have in our lesson today when I talk about power is this one.

The ability to directly influence the behaviour of others.

It's that kind of power.

All right so if you want to pause and make a note of that you're very welcome.

If you feel comfortable that you understand that and you know that, that's fine, we'll just move on.


So, where is power held in our constitution? Little activity for you here.

I want you to see if you can name anything that influences how our country is run.

So I think there are six answers to things that influence how are country is run.

And I've put some images just on the right-hand side there for you to kind of get you started.

There's only four images, and I'm asking for six things, so they're not all there.

I'm just trying to get your thinking going.

So just pause the screen for me here, and think to yourself, now what things influence how our country is run? See if you can come up with a list of four.



Now I'm guessing you've got a list of four because there was four pictures there.

That probably gave you your four.

And were you able to get the other two that didn't have a picture? Did you get your six? If you got six, then that's really well done.

Okay here come the answers that I had.

So these are the six things that hold power in our Constitution today.

So I'm just going to read through them.

The Monarch, House of Commons, the Prime Minster, the Government, the House of Lords, and the Courts.


So if you didn't get any of those, please just pause and add in any of those that you didn't get.

Okay, so you want a note of those six things.

So now what we're going to do together is I'm going to sort of briefly go through for you, and identify the role of each of those powers.

So what power each of those has.

Now I'm just going to let you know that once I've gone through this slide on the next one I'm going to just give you a few quick fire questions to see if you've been paying close attention.

So I recommend that you do make some notes on this slide and the next one.

So what I've done for you here is that, as well as lots of information in those boxes underneath those kind of green headings, some of them have got, you can see they're a darker, bolder type.

So if you were to be making notes, it might be helpful if you just wanted to make the notes that are in the bold type.

Of course, if you wanted to pause the screen and write everything down underneath those headings, it's all really helpful and interesting information.

But, I leave that with you as to which one you prefer.

So I'm just going to read these through with you now.

All right, remember you can pause at any time if you want to write something down.

You can pause after each section if you want, before I move on to the next slide, it's up to you.

You have the power.

See what I did there? Okay, right, so we've got the Monarch on the left-hand side there.

So the sovereigns assents, so agreement, is required for all bills passed by Parliament before they become law.

This is called royal assent.

The Monarchs means, sorry, meets regularly with the PM, Prime Minister, to discuss parliamentary business.

And the Monarch has the right to give their viewpoint.

Officially, the Monarch appoints the Prime Minister, the PM, but is neutral.

Regarding that royal assent thing, I was looking to see if there's ever been a case where a Monarch had refused to give him royal assent.

And apparently the last Monarch to do that was Queen Anne, back in 1707.

So it's not a common occurrence in modern times.

All right, in the middle now, the House of Commons.

This house has direct access to the government, and holds the government to account for its actions.

Most new bills are put forward by the majority party in the commons which forms the government.

The Commons can force a bill to become law without the agreement of the Lords.

And then finally on the right-hand side on this slide, the Prime Minister, PM, decides on new policies and can make all the decisions for the government, chooses the cabinet ministers, so they have their own choice of who they'd like in their cabinet, oversees all the civil servants, which is the administrative arm of the government.

Okay, so pause now 'cause I'm going to move on to the next slide, if you want to write anything else there down.

So, the last three.

On the left-hand side, the government.

This refers to the PM, Prime Minister, and their ministers.

This is known as the executive.

They are responsible for running the country.

They set the taxes, choose what to spend public money on, and decide how to best deliver public services such as education.

That's quite a bit of power there.

The House of Lords.

The Lords can delay a bill from becoming law for up to a year.

The house also submits about 6,000 written questions to the government about its policies annually.

House of Lords select committees conduct wide ranging inquires into government decisions.

So those are the powers of the House of Lords.

And then we got the Courts on the right-hand side.

In the courts the judges interpret the laws made by Parliament.

The Supreme Court can challenge yours.

More on the Supreme Court in a moment.

The Monarch cannot remove judges from office if judgments do not suit them, according to the Act of Settlement in 1701.

So the Monarch cannot remove judges.

The Parliament cannot remove judges if they don't like the sort of political viewpoints of the judges, they can't remove them from office.

The Constitutional Reformer in 2005 recognised the judiciary as a fully independent, as being fully independent from government.

So pause again there if you need to finish writing anything else there down.

I'm going to do our little quiz now.

Right, quick fire quiz.

See if you can answer these four questions before I quietly count to 10.

I'm going to read the questions to you first.

Who interprets the laws made by Parliament? Who regularly meets the PM to discuss government business? Who can delay a bill from being passed for up to a year? Who can choose all the government ministers? Have a go, I'm going to quietly count to 10.


How'd you get on? Did you manage to do it quickly? Didn't have to write them in sentences, just kind of put down who it was that had those different plans.

Did you get them? Let's see if you did.

Here are the answers then folks.

Here we go.

So we've got the first one, judges in courts are the ones who interpret the laws.

And on the right it's the Monarch that meets the Prime Minister regularly.

Sometimes face to face, but sometimes just on the telephone.

And the House of Lords are the ones who can delay the bill for up to a year, and the Prime Minister is the one who chooses the government ministers.

Well done with those if you got all of those.

Let's move on.

I mentioned that we were going to look at the Supreme Court in a moment.

So here we are.

The role of the Supreme Court.

All court judges have to interpret the law in their courts and can occasionally alter the law, known as case law, to ensure that our laws remain updated.

So that's something probably that you've looked at when you've been studying the law in citizenship sort of courses.

The Supreme Court judges have an additional role, one where they settle disputes between citizens and the state, which is the government.

The Supreme Court can challenge the UK Constitution so they have a special power there.

And then on the right-hand side there I've just put an image that you probably recognise.

It's the state of Lady Justice.

And it just reflects our courts have a moral duty, and they must not have any political bias, hence the kind of the blind fold.

All right, take a note of any of that if you feel that you'd like to.

So you need to pause the screen if you want to make a note of any of that.

If not, I'm going to move on.

All right, so here we have a diagram to show the connections between the powers.

This is where your ruler comes in.

So if you don't have a ruler with you you could always just do these as bubbles.

So it doesn't really match if you haven't got perfect straight-sided boxes for this diagram.

But you can see that what I've done is I've put our six powers, and I've put connections between then.

I've also added in a couple of other little details like the Supreme Court and the Executive order so we can just remember those words.

So before I explain those connections, could you please pause and make a copy of that diagram.

Pause the lesson now to do that.

All right so if you come back to me now, I'm hoping that you've got a copy of that diagram down on your paper.

So let's just quickly run through all these connections here.

We'll start at the top there.

So we've got Prime Minister.

Choose everybody in their cabinet, and those two together are called the executive.

Now the Prime Minister and the Cabinet sit in the House of Commons.

So you've got diagrams down to the House of Commons.

The House of Commons and the House of Lords share the lawmaking procedures together, so that's why they're connected.

And then when a bill is to become a new law, first of all it requires the Monarch to give it royal assent.

So there's the connection there.

You've got an arrow from the Monarch to the Prime Minister because they meet regularly to discuss government business.

And then you've got an arrow from the Monarch to the Courts because the courts have to apply the new laws that are being made.

And then if a new law needs to be challenged, then it's the supreme court that would do that, hence the Supreme Court then is connected back to where the laws were made, in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

So you can see that they're all interconnected there.

And we know that each of those hold a power.

I'm assuming everything I said there was probably okay with you and that you understood all of that.

But if you do want to pause to jot any of that down then do so.

I'm going to move on.


So, quick recap, what have we done? We've identified that all of the elements of our government have power and that they are interconnected.

Okay so we've learned quite a lot so far.

So now we need to move on and have an explanation of why it is important that there is a separation of those powers.


So there's our diagram again.

Let's just think for a minute.

What is the opposite of powers being separated out between these different elements of our system of government? What's the opposite to them being separated out in the different places? Rather than having six different sections that share power, what would we have if you were looking for the opposite of that? You wouldn't have six different sections sharing power, would you? You'd have, come on, talk to me.

Yeah, absolutely.

You'd have one.

You'd have one area.

That would be the opposite, wouldn't it? One thing that holds all the power as opposed to all six that share power out of the moment.

Now, one.

One area sharing, having all that power.

Isn't that where we started back in time? Haven't we spent the last eight centuries trying to get power shared out amongst different people and different groups rather than having it all in the hands of one individual or small group? So surely we value that, don't we? We must value the fact that power is being shared out.

And we certainly don't want to go back to a situation like that, where the power is just held by certain individuals.


Let's just remind ourselves perhaps why we don't want that.

This is a great quote.

This is a quote by somebody called Lord Achton, who's a historian politician writer back in 1887.

Although people might not know him and who he was and when he wrote it, most people will know this quote.

If you said it to other people they might have heard it.

Okay so try that.

So the quote is "power tends to corrupt, "and absolute power corrupts absolutely." So corruption, if that's a new word to you, kind of means being dishonest and abusing the power for private gain.

And you're doing something that means that you're going to do well out of the situation.

And absolute means complete or total.

So if we just look back at that quote together.

"power tends to corrupt, "but absolute power," so total control, having all the power, not sharing it out, and all that power "corrupts absolutely." So having too much power means that you might be much more inclined to be more corrupt if you've got that possibility.

It's up to you if you want to pause that to make a note of that quote and who it was by.

I do like that one 'cause it kind of sums up this whole thing about why, why this separation of powers is so important, isn't it? So, why is it important that there is a separation of these powers? So I've got three good reasons here.

I recommend that you perhaps make a note of these with me as we go through these.

So the first one, on the left-hand side there in the box is the one that we've just been talking about.

Power is shared to prevent one individual or small group of people having too much influence, which could lead to corruption.

In the middle box, slightly different point now, new point.

When power is shared out, each element of power have oversight of the others, which means they can scrutinise, they can check that everything is being done as it should.

So they're just watching the other areas that have got power.

And just checking, making sure everything's being done correctly.

And then on the right-hand side there, another slightly different point, another good reason.

When power is shared out, each element with power plays a role in holding the others to account.

So it's not just checking.

This is they can ask them to explain why something is being done.

So they're actually being challenged on it and saying um, excuse me, why are you doing it that way? Can you explain your reasons to us? Okay.

So this is, these are all really good reasons about why we have this power shared out.

So do pause the screen now if you just want to make note of any of those, if you haven't gotten those down.

Really important those bits.

So pause the lesson now.


All right we're going to do another little task now.

So, what I'd like you to do, with the three reasons that you've already written down, I'd like you to rank them in order of importance.

So it might be that you just need to write next to them first, second, third, whichever one you think is which.

And then I need you to explain for me why you ranked them in that order.

So which one you think is the most important reason why you have the separation of powers, second and then the third reason.

Okay so you need to add your own explanation.

So just pause for me now and do that, and come back to me in a moment.

Pause the lesson now.


Here are my suggestions.

Yours can be completely different.

Again, we talked about this before in citizenship.

It doesn't really matter if you don't completely agree with me, it's absolutely fine, as long as you can give your own justification, your own reasons.

So I went for first place the one there on the left.

I gave that one first place, and I put because without power sharing a country could become a dictatorship, with only one person ruling.

And then I went for second place as the one over on the far right.

And I put on that right-hand box, I just put underneath my reasoning second place because power sharing means that people are challenged about their actions.

So corruption is less likely, I felt.

And then the middle one, still really important but I've put it in third place because power sharing allows for a thorough process of checking for wrong doings.

Okay so those are my kind of reasons.

If you want to add any of my reasons onto yours you're very welcome.

Or perhaps you want to rethink the order you put them in.

Or maybe we agreed already.


So now we're going to have a look at an exam style question on disagreements between powers.

This is quite a favourite topic for sort of an example sometimes.

example in citizenship so it's something I thought we might have a think about together.


On the next slide you're going to see some information.

So what I'm going to ask you to do here is I'd like you to write down this question for me.

So on the next slide you're going to pause, but at the moment I want you to write down this question.

So the question is what are the disagreements between judges and politicians about, in the two examples given, and how do they demonstrate the separation of powers? So what are the disagreements between those two people about, and how do they demonstrate the separation of power? So please write that question.

Pause for a second if you need to in order to just finish off that question.

I'm going to show you now the two examples.

So here are two examples of friction, tension, argument between judges and politicians.

So we're going to go, I'm just going to read through the one in the green box, which is the one on the left first.

In 2009, a judge sentenced a man to two years in prison after he stole traffic warden's camera.

The man's local member of Parliament campaigned for the sentence to be reduced, but an appeal judge ruled that the sentence was within guidelines.

And then on the right.

Sargent Javid was home secretary in February 2019, and he decided to remove Shamima Begum's British Citizenship, which prevented her from returning to the UK.

She had left the UK to join the Islamic State at age 15, in 2015.

Shamima, with her lawyers, is appealing against the decision.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeals said that she had the right to return to the UK from Syria in order to make her case for appeal.

So two examples there of disagreement, disagreement between the judges and the politicians.

So you're being asked to say what the examples are about, so where the disagreement is, and how that demonstrates the separation of power.

So pause now to have a go at the question on your own.

If you want to stay with me, I'm just going to give you some sentence starters which might help you formulate that answer.

Okay so here are some sentence starters.

There's a question on the top and then some sentence starters.

So the sentence starters are the disagreement regarding the traffic warden's camera is about.

This shows that.

The disagreement regarding Shamima Begum is about the decision to allow.

A senior member of the cabinet at the time had made a ruling that.

Again, this shows that power is not held solely by.

I sometimes wonder with senescent starters whether they're helpful or if they're sometimes a bit more confusing.

So it's completely up to you if you want to use those now, or if you just want to write the answer without those.

So just pause for a moment in order to complete that paragraph.

Okay I'm going to show you my answer now.

So I've used those sentence starters and just finished them off here.

I'm going to read it through.

The disagreement regarding the traffic warden's camera is about the politician wanting a judge to reduce the offender's sentence.

This shows that power is not just held in the hands of the politicians, that the judge can stand firm, and say that the sentence was appropriate.

The disagreement regarding Shamima Begum is about the decision to allow her back into the UK.

A senior member of the Cabinet at the time had made a ruling that she should not be permitted back into the UK, but the Appeal Judges have said that in order for her to have a fair trial she must be allowed to return.

Again, this shows that power is not held solely by the executive, in other words the Prime Minster and their cabinet.

All the politicians can do is appeal against the judge's decision.

Really well done.

If you had a go at that, and your answer is something similar to that, as I'm sure it is.

If you wanted to pause, and make a note of my full answer there, of course you are completely welcome to do that.

Quite complicated stuff that we're covering today.

So you're doing really well if you sort of stuck with it.

Let's just have a recap of what we've been looking at today then.

So our lesson has had four different sections.

We've explained what we mean by powers.

We've then identified where the power lies within those different powers, those different sections, and then we talked about why it's important too have that separation of those powers.

And then finally we've had a go at that exam style question with the two disagreements there between politicians and judges.


That was really well done.

I hope you enjoyed today, but before you go completely, do have a little go at my exit quiz, see if you can get any of those right.

And hopefully you'll come back and watch my final lesson in this series.

Thank you ever so much.

Bye for now.