A member of staff from Durham County Council has been selected to attend a prestigious training programme at the Houses of Parliament.

Rich Hurst, education development advisor with responsibility for citizenship at the council’s education development service, was selected from more than 170 applicants to attend ‘Teachers’ Institute’, which gives teachers from all parts of the UK a detailed understanding of how parliament works.

Those taking part in the programme then become UK Parliament Teacher Ambassadors and go on to teach students and fellow education professionals about democracy and the Houses of Parliament.

During the three-day training event, which is fully funded by Parliament’s Education Service, Rich will hear from the House of Commons Speaker and the Lord Speaker about their work.

“I am delighted to have been chosen to attend Teachers’ Institute later this month and am looking forward to learning more about parliament and sharing my training with colleagues across the county on my return,” Rich said.

Rt. Hon. Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said: “Teachers’ Institute is exceptionally well-regarded by the participants each year, and I welcome the opportunity to explain the work of the House of Lords to such an appreciative audience.”

Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “I am proud that this excellent initiative continues to provide such an invaluable service. Better engagement and dialogue with young people is of fundamental importance to our democracy, and I am sure that the UK Parliament Teacher Ambassadors attending Teachers’ Institute will find the experience both useful and enlightening.”

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, said: “I am delighted that Rich Hurst from my constituency, has been selected as a UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador. Schools have so many opportunities to engage young people with Parliament and democracy, and I am sure that students across County Durham will benefit from Rich Hurst’s experience at Teachers’ Institute.”