A host of independent schools decided to hold mock general elections this year to give younger pupils a chance to follow the democratic process.
At Kingham Hill School, a day and boarding school in Oxfordshire for children aged 11-18, five sixth form politics pupils put themselves forward to represent the Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, Plaid Cymru, Labour and Conservatives.
All pupils and staff were invited to vote in the school’s sports hall, set up like a traditional polling station. By the time the polls closed at 1pm, 65% of the pupils had voted and Plaid Cymru came out on top.
“The pupils have been highly engaged by the democratic process: the election has been a hotly discussed issue in boarding houses and common rooms across the school,” said Gareth Williams, head of Octagon, Kingham Hill School’s academic society.
Rydal Penrhos, a day and boarding school in Wales for children aged 2 and a half to 18, also held a mock general election. Head of sixth form Leah Crimes revealed that the Conservative party had won with 25% of the vote.
Senior school head Sally-Ann Harding said: “This was something that really gripped every pupil and staff member at Rydal Penrhos, which was down to the commitment from each party to get their message across.”
At Abbey Gate College’s infant and junior schools in Aldford, pupils learnt about what an election is, how it is structured in the UK and the role of politics in Britain. Infants discovered what the prime minister does, whilst juniors delved more into what a political party is, the legal voting age and what young activists do.
Year six children were randomly selected to represent the five political parties and got to work researching manifestos, designing posters and preparing speeches. In the school’s mock election, the Green party were announced as the winners.