Election fever grips Sunderland schools

Dated: 06/05/2015 Sunderland  High School students (left to right) Sarah Hewitt-Chapple y11, Tadi Pahla y8, Head of Pastoral Mrs Julie Thompson, Emily Marsh y11 and Amy Davison y11 with the Parliament Loan Box supplied by the Schools Library Service from the education office at Westminster to help schools recreate Parliamentary debate in class.  See Sunderland City Council press release.    NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
Dated: 06/05/2015 Sunderland High School students (left to right) Sarah Hewitt-Chapple y11, Tadi Pahla y8, Head of Pastoral Mrs Julie Thompson, Emily Marsh y11 and Amy Davison y11 with the Parliament Loan Box supplied by the Schools Library Service from the education office at Westminster to help schools recreate Parliamentary debate in class. See Sunderland City Council press release. NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
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ELECTION fever has gripped schools as they host their own displays of democracy.

A political debate has been sparked at Sunderland High School after the delivery of a Parliamentary Loan Box packed with a robe like the one worn by the speaker of the House of Commons, a clerk’s wig, a replica dispatch box, mace, a division bell and a parliamentary bill. The props have been supplied by the Schools Library Service and loaned from the education office at Westminster to help students recreate debates in class.

It’s really a way to get the girls more interested in the election because the vast majority of them will be able to vote when the next general election takes place.

Politics teacher Sarah Russell

Headteacher Dr Angela Slater said: “The loan box has been a great success.

“It has not only inspired a great deal of political discussion and excitement, but also a far greater sense of engagement in the political process.”

St Anthony’s Girls’ Academy has launched its own campaign to help students get to grips with the politics which will affect them and their families in the build up to today’s General Election.

Five girls from each of the school’s seven years were selected to run as candidates, with each asked to campaign for one of the main parties after names were pulled from the hat.

Politics teacher Sarah Russell said: “We chose to do it for the main five parties as they’d heard the most about them.

“It’s really a way to get the girls more interested in the election because the vast majority of them will be able to vote when the next general election takes place.

“We’ve talked about what affect the next Government could have on them and we want them to understand what could happen in the next few years.

“We’ve looked at each of the parties key policies and a lot of the girls have gone away and done their research and looked at what will matter to them,

“It’s encouraged them to get the conversation going and they’ve been asking questions about politics, which is really good to hear.”

The results of the school’s own polling day will be announced at an assembly tomorrow.

Southmoor School has also hosted a similar mock election as it helped students get to grips with what happens during a general election.