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NORTH-EAST students got a taste of life as an MP recently.

Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North, invited two GCSE pupils from Darlington to work in his office for a week.

Darlington School of Mathematics and Science (DSMS) pupils George Plumb, 15, and Liam Pape, 16, joined Mr Cunningham as part of a national scheme aiming to improve the academic success and career confidence of state school students.

The scheme, from the Future First charity, has established a network of alumni to allow former students to inspire current pupils.

After leaving DSMS, Alex Cunningham became a journalist before joining Parliament in 2010.

He said: “It’s great to be able to support students of my old school in the way that private schools have done for generations.”

Future First’s managing director, Alex Shapland-Howes, said: “More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in a job they’d like to do.

“If they see that someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same community, has achieved a fulfilling and satisfying job, it helps them see it’s possible for them too.”