Labour government chosen by numerous school students in voting process

Thousands of school pupils across the UK have made their voices heard in the 2024 General Election, with nearly 70,000 students casting their votes. This was made possible through the efforts of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) and the Hansard Society, who organized the Parallel Election and Mock Election respectively. Both projects aim to engage students in Citizenship education, a subject in the national curriculum.

The combined results of the student vote clearly put Labour in first place with 29.6% of the votes. The Green Party followed with 21.4%, while Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats took third and fourth place with 18% and 12.9% of the votes respectively. The Conservative Party, who won the actual General Election, were pushed into fifth place with less than 10% of the student vote. Independent candidates garnered 5.4% of the share, while the remaining votes were either spoiled or left blank.

With a voter turnout of 60% in the General Election, it is evident that young people are less likely to vote compared to older generations. However, initiatives like the Parallel Election and Mock Election serve as valuable tools in engaging students in democracy and encouraging them to participate in political processes as adults.

Mark Marande, Headteacher of The Petersfield School, shared his enthusiasm for engaging students in politics and encouraging them to exercise their democratic rights: “We are very passionate about engaging our students with the general election and politics more widely. We want them to get ‘into the habit’ of voting, grappling local, national and global issues and exercising their democratic rights…I am very encouraged for the future led by them and their generation.”

One Year 10 student, Sam, emphasized the importance of young people getting involved in politics early: “It’s important that young people get involved in politics early so that when we are at an age where we can vote, we are well informed and educated about the different policies that can affect our lives.”

Another Year 10 student, Eve, shared that they have enjoyed meeting local candidates and learning about their party’s pledges: “It’s vital that we understand the different commitments being made by different political parties and the routes that our country could take.”

Edward, also a Year 10 student, expressed the value of exercising their democratic rights: “Exercising our democratic rights is a hugely important privilege that we shouldn’t take for granted, especially when there are still places in our world where people are denied this right.”

Liz Moorse, Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching, highlighted the role of Citizenship education in preparing young people to be active and informed citizens: “High-quality Citizenship education teaches pupils about democracy, politics, Parliament and voting, as well as human rights, justice, media literacy, the law and the economy…Students also learned the art of respectful debate and influential argument, skills that are essential for a flourishing democracy.”

Dr. Ruth Fox, Director of the Hansard Society, emphasized the importance of educating students about the UK’s democratic processes through projects like the Mock Election: “Tens of thousands of pupils across Great Britain cast a vote in the nationwide Mock Election campaign, giving many of them a first taste of civic participation and teaching them vital lessons about the way the UK’s democratic processes work.”

For more information on the results of the schools’ general election, you can visit the links provided by the Association for Citizenship Teaching and the Hansard Society. Further assets, including logos and images from participating schools, can be provided upon request.

The Association for Citizenship Teaching and the Hansard Society are both non-profit organizations working towards improving democracy and civic education in the UK. The Association for Citizenship Teaching provides advice, training, and resources for Citizenship teachers and educators, while the Hansard Society conducts research and education programs to enhance public knowledge and understanding of the UK’s parliamentary system.

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