Academy students set off on the campaign trail

Unity students are staging a mock election at the school.  The five members with returning officer Liam Richardson (centre).
Unity students are staging a mock election at the school. The five members with returning officer Liam Richardson (centre).
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These teenagers went on the campaign trail to win votes in the run-up to their own election – and came out on top for the 
Labour Party.

Groups of pupils from Unity Academy, North Shore, each chose a major political party to emulate in a bid to win votes from their peers in a school election.

The ‘parties’ created party political broadcasts to be played on TVs around school, writing their own manifestos and spearheading competitive campaigns.

Groups of students represented each of the six major political parties, Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, SNP and Greens, in a bid to win votes from their peers.

Senior vice principal Gillian McGuinness said: “We felt it was important to get the students involved in the political process as politics affects every aspect of our lives.

“We also felt it was important that the students understood the concept of democracy and how important their vote is.

“It’s created a great buzz around the school with fantastic levels of engagement.”

The students went to the polls on Friday, with an 82 per cent turnout – 532 students – and pupils Katie Alston and 
Kieran Peck were victorious on behalf of the 
Labour Party.

Katie, a Year Nine pupil, said: “The whole thing has been a very good experience and we’re delighted to have won with 193 votes. We were the best party!”