On Friday, 23rd November, The Forest School welcomed an inspiring past pupil over its threshold.
Steven Hall, who attended the school back in 1994 -1999, works as a Government Civil Servant, having served an influential role in parliamentary plans under the wing of major politicians such as Tony Blair and, currently, Nick Clegg.
Steven referred to his time attending the all-boys comprehensive school as the ‘golden days’, though we sensed an inkling of satire beneath his remark.
He noted that the school had undergone an amazing transformation; however he would always appreciate his time here. Previously wishing to pursue a career in writing or music, discovered a love of politics in his later years at the school.
Following a tour around his old school, Steven was subjected to a grilling from a selection of attentive pupils.
We started off our questions easily, asking about an average day in the office, before delving head-first into the world of politics.
Steven was extremely honest, open and motivating with his answers, leaving few details un-mentioned. I found it hugely admirable to see how much a passion he radiated for his job, though I suppose surprise helicopter rides with the Deputy Prime Minister are nothing worthy of complaint.
The role of a Civil Servant requires that Stephen be neither biased nor linked to any particular political ideology. Steven occasionally even has to write up campaigns for the Liberal Democrats, when he was previously writing against them when the Labour Party was in power.
“Two opposing documents can be circulating at the same time, both with my name credited as the author,” Steven explained, “it can sometimes be incredibly odd, but likewise very interesting – it definitely keeps me on my toes!”
Giving us a rare and intimate insight into our present Government, Steven captivated us with his hilarious anecdotes.
Being interrogated on British political knowledge by Nick Clegg himself, albeit feeling slightly under the weather during an emergency helicopter ride, is just one perk of the job.
One thing that we pupils found most interesting was that COBRA actually stands for ‘Cabinet Office Briefing Room A’ and is, in fact, not a clandestine name for a group who covertly run the country. COBRA attendees eat custard creams just like the rest of us.
Steven was also on hand for The Forest School’s annual Awards Evening, congratulating our class of 2014 on their achievements from their time here. He provided a fascinating speech about life after secondary school, which was also very motivational.
It was very encouraging to listen to someone speak with such passion for his role. Steven Hall has experienced great success in recent years; something inspirational for all current Forest pupils particularly, knowing that he was previously sitting with an abundance of aspirations in the same classrooms that we sit in today.
Picture contributed by The Forest School.