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A lesson in democracy

Last Modified March 10, 2020
Over a hundred pupils from 13 schools across Hertsmere attended the council's 13th Annual Youth Conference in Borehamwood last week (Thursday 5 March), and had a unique and highly creative opportunity to find out more about local democracy.

Approximately 170 pupils, all aged between 10 and 12-years-old, watched an interactive play 'Simply politics' facilitated by Tiernan and Tatton, which aimed to teach the young people about the role of government, decision-making and democracy.

During the afternoon, there was an interactive session, which allowed the young people an opportunity to interact with councillors and ask questions followed by a mock election.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health, Councillor Caroline Clapper, commented: "This was another highly successful Youth Conference and it was great to see so many young people engaged in local democracy. During the day we spoke about the democratic system, how to make a choice and why it's so important to vote. All the young people have been really engaged, interested and eager to learn.

"It's so important for young people to learn about the world in which we live in and the decisions they will have to make in the future. These are our future voters, tax payers and decision makers, so it's vital for them to understand their environment and what is going on in their community - it's never too young to learn.

"The young people who have attended today have been really engaged in all of the issues. They've contributed interesting and different ways of thinking, they've worked well in groups, so I couldn't have been more impressed."

The schools that were represented were:

Bushey Heath Primary School in Bushey
Cowley Hill Primary School in Borehamwood
Hartsbourne Primary School in Bushey
Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood
Kenilworth Primary School in Borehamwood
Parkside Primary School in Borehamwood
St Giles' C of E Primary School in South Mymms
St Teresa's Catholic Primary School in Borehamwood
Monksmead Primary School in Borehamwood
Clore Shalom School in Radlett
Haberdashers Askes Boys Prep School in Elstree
Cranborne School in Potters Bar
Yavneh College in Borehamwood

Feedback from the Youth Conference has been really positive. When asked what they enjoyed about the day one 10-year-old said 'I loved being able to vote in a polling station!' and another added: 'The jokes because you didn't feel like you were learning, it was fun.'

When asked why it is important to vote, one student commented: 'It is important because you need to have your place and have your say in what happens.' Another added: 'Because it can change the world.'

You can hear what some of the young people had to say along with the portfolio for leisure, culture and health about the day by watching our short YouTube film: https://youtu.be/HqWdokbPQls
Posted on Tuesday 10th March 2020

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