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The Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt visits Bury Grammar School

On Monday 24th June, Bury Grammar School was visited by The RT. Hon Alistair Burt, BGS Old Boy (Class of 1973) and esteemed politician.  

AB Visit


"You will go elsewhere but you will never leave, it is an elastic bond that will keep you tied to the school and you will find it of great benefit.” – Alistair Burt on Bury Grammar School 

Alistair qualified as a solicitor and worked in private practice before becoming Member of Parliament for Bury North in 1983. He served in Margaret Thatcher’s Government as Parliamentary Private Secretary to The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Baker between 1985-90, and in John Major’s Government as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Dept of Social Security 1992-95, as Minister of State, Minister for Disabled People, 1995-97, and as Minister for Manchester and Salford 1994-97. He returned to commercial life in 1997, and in 2001 was elected Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire. In 2010 he was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the Middle East, North Africa, North America and South Asia, until 2013. He chaired the British Group of the InterParliamentary Union 2013-15. 

He was appointed Minister of State for Community and Primary Care in 2015-16, and by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017 to the new post of Minister of State FCO/DFID for MENA. He resigned in 2019 in opposition to Brexit policy. He chose not to stand for re-election, and left Parliament after thirty-two years’ service in December 2019. The Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt is a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council since 2013. He is the UK Commissioner to the International Commission on Missing Persons, based in The Hague, since 2013. He currently works with Middle Eastern conflict resolution group Forward Thinking, for the social enterprise for democracy building Global Partners Governance, and in the private sector. Alistair is on the Council of the European Council of Foreign Relations, and is a Distinguished Fellow of RUSI. Alistair is also a Trustee and Board Member, International Rescue Committee (UK), Interim Chair and Board Member, Coalition for Global Prosperity, and Pro Chancellor and Chair of Council, Lancaster University. 

During his visit to school, Alistair Burt held an engaging question-and-answer session with pupils from Years 10 to 12, who are currently studying Politics, Economics, or History. He emphasised the importance of being aware of one's geographical and social surroundings, highlighting that politics is neither boring nor irrelevant. Then the School Captain Team proudly gave Alistair a tour of the School before he met with the Senior Leadership Team for an enjoyable Afternoon Tea. 

Alistair Burt Collage


Alistair was also the distinguished guest speaker at our annual Speech Night, where we celebrated the numerous successes of the 2023-2024 academic year and shared cherished memories with our Year 13 leavers of 2024.  

In his speech, Alistair recounted stories from both his days as a Bury Grammar School pupil, from Kindergarten through to Sixth Form, Bury throughout the years, and his political career, with the important message to,

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” Reflecting on the profound influence Bury Grammar School had on his life, he said, "I have a lasting thanks to the School for everything that it gave me […] you will take these memories with you wherever you go." 

Addressing the Year 13 leavers, Alistair also offered this heartfelt advice,"Have a little look around you, look at those who are sitting next to you and those you have spent your time with over the years. There will come a moment in the years to come when you will cross an ocean in order to meet them again, and you will." We would like to thank The Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit our school. His words left a lasting impression on us all.