Local school kids learn about how elections work
Monday 19 November 2018
Pupils from Long Meadow School visited Milton Keynes Council’s Chamber last week to learn about elections and how the council works. The pupils then carried out their own real life election to find four class ‘Helping Hands’.
More than 60 pupils met Mayor Cllr Martin Petchey and got to see inside the Mayor’s Parlour to look at the interesting gifts given by other dignitaries. The pupils were also given the opportunity to quiz Cllr Petchey, asking ‘who helps the Mayor?’ and ‘how do elections work?’
They were presented a challenge as part of the visit and were asked: “If they were a councillor and had a budget of £100k what would they spend it on and why?” Many of school pupils voted for swimming pools and helping the homeless.
The group then heard from four class mates competing to represent them as one of four ‘Helping Hands’. The role is a social, cultural and spiritual one and the pupil chosen is charged with ensuring everyone in the class is heard, looked after and able to celebrate birthdays, events and their successes. After the candidates had finished their presentations, the pupils lined up to put their vote into a ballot box.
After the count, Isabelle from Thistles class and Nicole for Ferns class were elected as their class ‘Helping Hands’ and were congratulated by the Mayor.
Cllr Petchey said: “It was a pleasure to meet the pupils of Long Meadow School today. The children were very engaged and asked some fantastic questions.”
Year 5 teacher, Miss Peacock, added: “Today was an excellent opportunity for the children. We have been leaning all about democracy at school in the run up to our visit so it was great for the children to hear about how the council works and hold our own election in the Council Chamber.”