Students take part in own elections to get into the voting habit

MORE than nine out of ten students in a school took part in electing youth candidates.

The high turnout of more than 90 per cent in the West Sussex and National youth parliament elections should earn Barnham’s St Philip Howard Catholic High School a gold democracy award.

Students from Year 7 through to the sixth form cast their votes last Thursday.

Each was handed two voting slips to take into the voting booths.

Michael Turner, a Year 11 student, was impressed by the day. “It feels like the real thing. We feel that we are really voting for change,” he said.

Students Liz Thomas, in Year 8, and Rithika Shibu, in Year 9, thought the process was beneficial because it would result in ‘young people speaking who understand what we feel’.

A Year 8 candidate for West Sussex, Eloise McQuillan-Graham, confessed to feeling ‘quite nervous and anxious, but also privileged to be a part of the elections’.

The school’s head of citizenship, Megan Thomas, made the experience to feel as close as possible to voting in a general election.

She was delighted by how the day went and the interest which had been created in the elections. The results will not be known until Aprl.