Andy Fifer (winner) - ‘I am happy to have won but more importantly we have achieved our aim which was to get more people interested in politics’
This year in the UK we are having a general election and on school council it became apparent that this might be a good opportunity for us to look closely at the differences between the parties and what they are campaigning for. We believe it is important that we all appreciate the power of the vote we will receive from the age of 18, so we decided to run a whole school mock general election so we can all develop a greater awareness of the process and issues.
For the last three weeks our five party leaders; Phoebe Rimmer (Green party), Andy Fifer (Labour party), Nick Ford (Conservative party), Filip Kotys (UKIP) and Robert Gadsby (Liberal Democrats), have been trying to win votes from all pupils in the school. This has involved them making Political Party broadcasts which have been shown in tutor times, creating campaign posters and presenting the party’s manifestos which were distributed throughout the school as well as campaigning at break times where they did a better job than some of our politicians! It all concluded with a week of assemblies where each party discussed three of their main policies ranging from education to immigration. This allowed all students to get a real insight and understanding into what British politics consists of and how it affects their lives.
After the assemblies were finished we held our voting day on April 1st in the theatre at lunch time where everyone handed in their polling card, which registered them to vote. They then filled out a voting card and posted their vote into their year specific ballot box. The same day a helpful year seven class helped us quickly count the vote in an impressive time of only 30 minutes. We then sent messages to all lessons around the school letting people know how the school voted. This was a brilliant opportunity for all students in the school and we hope they enjoyed it whilst learning a lot. We hope when it becomes time for students to actually vote in elections they’ll have more confidence having already had a practice run!
The end results showed labour steaming ahead with 396 votes followed by The Liberal democrats (231), Green (209), Conservative (98) and UKIP (90). The total whole school turnout was 1024 votes which was a brilliant achievement, with 95% of the school attendance on the 1st April voting, which is better than the UK percentage!
Some comments from our brilliant year 7 counters include;
‘Elections aren’t just about putting a vote in a box you actually get to make a difference’ Francesca price 7D
‘I felt so important to be a part of it’ Jess Collishaw 7D
‘When my parents were talking about the election at home I felt included and it was really enjoyable to watch the parties campaigning’ Hourana Sahibzaba
‘I felt it was enjoyable for the whole school’ Charlie Tunaly 7D
Election Steering Group-
Claire Dickinson, Beth Corker, Holly Chapman, India Francis-Crossley