Council election officials set for classroom takeover in National Democracy Week
Published: Friday, 22 June, 2018
School pupils will be ready for a debating experience as part of National Democracy Week 2018, thanks to a class takeover with Stroud District Council election officials.
The council’s elections team is set to take over school classes ahead of a committee meeting style debate which will be held in the council chamber at its Ebley Mill HQ.
They will visit Archway, Rednock, Stroud High and Marling schools early next month to help them prepare for the session on Friday, July 6 in the council chamber.
The week is set to get off to a flying start in Stroud with the SDC-organised National Democracy Week Garden Party on Sunday, July 1, to mark 90 years since the Equal Franchise Right 1928.
Then the elections team will visit a different school on each day of the week, to engage with the students and celebrate democracy – and sign up 16, 17 and 18-year-olds who have not yet registered to vote.
“Engaging younger voters and voters-to-be, whatever their politics, is so important and I am really pleased that our elections team is going out to schools to do just this,” said SDC leader, Councillor Doina Cornell.
“Anyone from aged 16 upwards can register to vote and our team has been out at schools and colleges doing this in the past few months. The take-up has been good but it is a legal requirement for everyone to be registered, and engaging pupils during these takeovers is a great way to encourage electoral registration.
“We hope the week will encourage students to become enthusiastic about local democracy, and engage with those who already see democracy being a part of their future. Our aim is the register over 500 people by Friday 6 July, and we hope that many of these will be 16, 17 and 18 year olds.”
On Monday, July 2, SDC elections team will be visiting Archway School year nines to show how a committee meeting runs and to hold a mock debate.
The next day, Rednock School year 12’s will find out about how effective meetings runs, decision making, election processes, and electoral registration.
Then on Wednesday and Thursday, Marling School and Stroud High School Year 9’s will take part in a lesson takeover using Bite the Ballot’s lesson resources, and there will be a mock debate to finish.
On Friday, July 6, all four schools will participate in a mock committee meeting-style debate in the council chamber - Archway and Rednock in the morning, and Stroud High and Marling in the afternoon.
Under a pretend scenario, they will elect a chair and vice chair, create mini reports and then debate the topic ‘Should prisoners be given the right to vote’.
The session will end with a presentation from Stroud District Youth Council, and awards will be presented to members of the committee meeting who have excelled during the session.
The National Democracy Week Garden Party will be staged from 11am to 4pm at Stratford Park on Sunday, July 1 to mark 90 years since the Equal Franchise Right 1928.
The event is family-friendly and for all ages, with actors, debates, workshops, a mock election, guest speakers and of course voter registration. There will be home made cakes on sale, as well as ‘Equali-teas’ served too. Find out more at https://www.stroud.gov.uk/news-archive/discover-more-about-stroud-woman-s-fight-for-equal-voting-rights-at-big-celebration