Students at Burlington Danes Academy were treated to a tour of Downing Street last week, during which they enjoyed a private Q&A with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne .

At a schools debating event back in February, in which his son was competing, the Chancellor was particularly impressed by the performance of Burlington Danes pupils . In appreciation of their efforts, he invited them on a trip to the prime minister’s residence and the Houses of Parliament.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for both pupils and staff to experience what lies behind the iconic black door of Number 10 Downing Street," said Michael Ribton, senior vice principal at Burlington Danes. "George Osborne was the perfect host."

The group, comprising a mix of sixth form politics students and the school’s debating team, were taken on an extensive tour of the historic building. They explored the Cabinet Office, viewed a series of famous artworks and ventured into the gardens.

They also spent time questioning the politician on topics such as his time at school, changes to the curriculum and how he manages to maintain a relatively normal family life.

Burlington Danes Academy pupils outside the Prime Minister's famous residence
Burlington Danes Academy pupils outside the Prime Minister's famous residence
 

"They asked Mr Osborne great questions," said Head of Humanities Sally McCartney. "They were intrigued about his path into politics and concerned about what would happen if he can’t keep his house after the election next year."

According to Mr Ribton, the chancellor refused to be drawn on what he would do differently if he were David Cameron , on the grounds that the prime minister is a close personal friend.

The Chancellor spared a moment to praise the high-performing ARK academy – judged outstanding by Ofsted at the end of last year. "You all go to a great school,” he said.

On their way around No 10, the students were also shown a collection of Moon rocks found during an Apollo mission, Winston Churchill’s favourite leather chair and a collection of portraits of former prime ministers.