Magistrate visits Psychology, Criminology & Law students

6th November 2023

Psychology, Criminology & Law students from Stratford-upon-Avon College welcomed a Justice of the Peace as they learnt all about life as a Magistrate.

Stella Ackland JP works as a Magistrate for the Coventry & Warwickshire branch of the Magistrate Association and visited the students to give them an insight into a Magistrate’s responsibilities.

Stella Ackland JP leading a session
The student benefitted from Stella's wealth of experience as she shared information and insights from her life as a Magistrate

The students listened to a presentation about crime, what Magistrates do, the difference between a Magistrate and a Crown Court and the types of decision they make. This was followed by a chance for students to try it for themselves in a mock sentencing exercise.

Stella speaks to students across the county and was especially pleased to come to the College: “With these students on this course, many of them have already chosen a career in law so it’s an opportunity to acquaint them with local justice that is right on their doorstep. It also might encourage any budding prosecutors or legal advisors to look into becoming a Magistrate.”

The students found the talk and exercise extremely enlightening. Lilly Noone commented: “It’s great to learn about how it works outside of college in a real environment.” Tegan Wimperis added: “If this is the route we want to follow, it gives us a real insight. Stella has lots of experience to share with us, has given examples of life as a Magistrate and we are planning a trip to a court to see how it works in action.”

Psychology Lecturer, Sharon Gerrard-Pickering, describes what a positive experience this was for the students: “The session was perfect as it combined all three elements of the Psychology, Criminology and Law course. It is beneficial because the students were able to apply theory in a practical session to enhance their understanding of the courts system. They are very fortunate that this workshop will be followed by a visit to Leamington Magistrates’ Court to see how the courts work in practice. We are very grateful that the students are able to benefit from the Magistrates in the Community programme and the incredible voluntary work that they do.”

Find out more about the College’s Psychology, Criminology & Law course: Psychology, Criminology & Law