I joined teachers and pupils at Wybourn Community Primary School for their first ever school council elections. The head teacher, Hannah Thornley, was inspired to run elections after a visit by pupils to Parliament.
It was a fantastic day. This is a great way of engaging young people with the democratic process from the earliest age. School Councillors do a job like mine, speaking up for the people they represent, and these elections provide an important lesson about how our democracy works. As School Councillors they’ll also learn about how elected representatives can play a role in tackling problems and changing things.
I was very impressed that the pupils organised themselves into political groupings running on different policy platforms, like school attendance and healthy eating. They also produced their own manifestos and participated in hustings.
I met with the election winners and gave them some advice from my own experiences as a public representative. I told them that you can’t be aware of every issue, so you need to listen to your voters and rely on them to be your eyes and ears. When they bring issues to you, it’s great to be able to take them up and make positive change. I applaud all of the candidates and congratulate those who topped the polls.