These Sheffield pupils can show politicians a thing or two…
Pupils and staff at a Sheffield primary school attracted praise from their local MP, and from the Speaker of the House of Commons, for their ingenious approach to school council elections.
The head teacher at Wybourn Community Primary School, Hannah Thornley, was inspired to do their school elections a little differently, following a day visit to parliament with pupils.
Her approach to the process was so effective that Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield told the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, about the school’s activities.
In a letter to Ms Thornley, the Speaker congratulated her and everyone who was involved, o n the “uplifting and heart-warming initiative.”
Mr Blomfield said: “The way that the children organised themselves into parties around issues that mattered to them, and then prepared and debated their manifestoes, was an extraordinary lesson in democracy at its best.
“I am delighted that their work has been recognised by the Speaker and am looking forward to catching up with them soon to find out how the School Council is following through on its objective, and how it’s spent the available budget.”
The school’s head-teacher, Ms Thornley said: “I have been extremely proud of how the children embraced this opportunity.
“ They have shown an understanding of their school community and a desire to help others.
“Their knowledge of how democracy works has greatly improved and they know that their opinions and ideas matter and that they can make a difference.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the elected members of our council to turn their election manifestos into reality.”
In his letter, Mr Bercow praised the school’s team of ‘dedicated and enthusiastic staff’.
He said: “After encouraging your students to organise into party groupings running on different policy platforms, your excellent students produced manifestos and took part in hustings.
“Following three weeks of campaigning, the polling day was held.”
He added: “I would like to send encouragement to all and hope that council elections become part of the school year for decades to come.