General Election 2017

08 Jun 2017
Students share their opinions on why voting is important

Today the UK is having a General Election.

Younger people have the ability to influence politics and they should make sure they exercise it so our academies with sixth form centres have encouraging our students aged 18 or over to register to vote.

There is lots of evidence to show that turnout is generally far lower among younger generations than older ones with just 43 per cent of those aged 18-24 casting a vote in May 2015 (Source)

The Trust strongly believes that part of our role is to educate and train our pupils to present their views and be accountable for any decisions they make.

Many of our academies have Student Voice elections at the start of each academic year. Pupils can nominate themselves or someone they believe would represent the year group well. After all of the votes are counted, a group of 10-15 pupils form the Student Voice forum for each year group. An example of their role would be to collect ideas for charity events and for how pupils wish to be rewarded for their progress and attendance.

They also play a huge part in promoting and helping run year group events and provide valid responses to any proposed changes within the Academy.  By encouraging our pupils to get involved in Student Voice, they develop key skills in discussion, debate, consultation, participation and voting. Student Voice also improves confidence amongst pupils that by taking part they can make and improve school life. The hope is that this then encourages them to engage in politics and have their say about society’s most pressing issues.

Here are some quotes from Sixth Form students as to why young people should vote.

  • "Voting allows young people to remain at the forefront of critical decisions, ensuring our voices are heard, and our presence is democratically acknowledged"

 (Samaira Saleem, Broxtowe Youth Mayor, Nottingham Girls Academy Sixth Forum)

  • “Young people should vote to help influence who is going to run your country for the next 5 years”
  • “You should be able to voice your opinion and help to make a change for the better”
  • “It is your opportunity to have a say in what happens in the United Kingdom”
  • “It’s your future; it's important to have a say in it”
  • “So everyone has their own say and therefore can't complain when the party they don't like wins”
  • “I believe it is important to vote in the general election as it has an impact on the future of the country and how it is run.”

 (Stanground Sixth Form Students)

Some of our primary and secondary academies also have a Council, made up of pupils from different ages, to express their views on school life and to address any ideas for improvement. We have some quotes from Mrs Sanghvi at the Mablethorpe Primary Academy and Mrs Nimmo at the Danesholme Junior Academy talking about the Academy and Student Councils;

"Our Student Council at Mablethorpe is elected at the start of the year by the pupils but this year our focus has been on fundraising for the school trips and for a new tank for the turtles (which we no longer need as they have gone). So the next thing that our student council will be asking their peers is what they want the Turtle tank money to be spent on. The council was also invited to open a brand new Lidl store in the local community and they have organised the Christmas and Easter raffles including a Christmas colouring competition."

“At Danesholme Junior, the School Council meet once every two to three weeks. There is a representative from each of the twelve classes; they are elected annually in September by their classmates. There are also a further four elected officers including a chairperson, vice-chair person, secretary, and treasurer from Year 6. The children have set most of the items on the agenda which have included subjects about fundraising events and themed events like Red Nose Day. The Academy Council are also involved in Road Safety Patrols which are conducted half termly at the end of the school day to monitor traffic and promote safe parking around the school Some meetings are attended by members of the SLT and at other times School Council representatives liaise with the SLT. See photo below of the last Road Safety Patrol in March with local neighbourhood wardens."