Years 7-10 are buzzing following the announcement of #ffynoneGE2017. This cross-curricular project will enable our students to shadow the General Election by participating in our own school election events over the course of the next month. The aim is to fire up our young people about politics and encourage them to engage in democracy in the future. Current voter apathy means only 43% of 18-24 year olds are likely to vote in a general election, compared with 66% overall.*
Students have a number of roles to choose from:
- a candidate representing one of the six major political parties
- a member of a candidate’s support team
- a journalist on the press team
- an administrator of the election process
- a ‘question-maker’
There will be a voter registration process that will close on May 22nd, in line with the deadline for the real election, and polling cards will be issued. Voting takes place on Thursday, June 8th with the winner announced on the morning of Friday 9th in sync with the national result.
Visits from Local Candidates
Ffynone House candidates and their teams will have their own Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as being given the opportunity to film party political broadcasts. We already have Swansea’s local Green Party and Liberal Democrat candidates confirmed to speak at school assemblies, and they have both offered to support to their student counterparts via email throughout the process. Plaid Cymru has also responded positively and will soon confirm a date to visit; we hope Labour, Conservative and UKIP candidates will follow suit.
Links with University
Dr Matt Wall, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Swansea University’s Department of Political and Cultural Studies, was also enthused by our ‘laudable’ project and has offered to run sessions on researching party policies online and the organisation of hustings events. Dr Wall will also be a guest host of our ‘Question Time’ events and school hustings. The Politics Societies of both Swansea and Aberystwyth are also keen to be involved.
Next week will see the selection of candidates and the allocation of parties. We will then form support teams and the press office will begin their work. Administrators will have a meeting with a retired Presiding Officer to gain a practical understanding of voting procedures and conduct and decide how they will organise the school vote successfully.
In our launch assembly, English teacher Mrs Miles said, “It’s exciting, it’s dynamic and it’s relevant. It’s exactly what education should be doing for our young people.”