Head of Sixth Form Autumn 10
Applause rang around the hall and our student body left assembly chattering animatedly about the presentations given by our own 'MP's representing the country's major political parties. The students, pictured, summarised the policies from each manifesto with exacting accuracy, witty humour and a youthful perspective; they communicated the key messages we are hearing on our news outlets all day and every day during this run up to what the students described as, 'the most important election of our generation’.
Environmental issues were high on the list of priorities with clear points on the urgency of addressing climate change now as in ten years’ time the negative impact global society is having on the planet will be too far gone. How to boost the economy, save the NHS and incentivise people to become teachers were also issues addressed by party representatives with reference to how such initiatives would be funded. Of course, the 'B' word came up and the different political ideas around this hot potato were explored and clarified. Each MP spoke with knowledge, confidence, passion and authority and if I'm honest, represented their party's policies just as well as the party leaders.
In the spirit of the youth campaign, 'Vote For Your Future', the Sixth Form students will be given the opportunity to vote for the party of their choice on the day of our General Election, Tuesday 12 December. A number of our 18 year olds will exercise their democratic freedom and vote, several are even helping at their local polling stations, all will have the chance to cast their vote. Watch this space - I will update you on the outcome in due course. According to the latest figures from the Electoral Commission only 1 in 3 people between the ages of 18-24 are actually registered to vote. 'Vote For Your Future' intends to campaign to change this, planning to reach 650,000 young people before 12 December, encouraging them to vote and then to see the impact of their participation in democracy.
It has been refreshing to listen to the conversations stimulated by our assembly and to see that not all young people are disenfranchised with politics. Our students have passion, ideas and enthusiasm for a fairer society and a brighter future which fills me with hope. Congratulations again to our young MPs and I look forward with interest to see the results of our own General Election.