Teenagers get vocal about the General Election at Aylsham High School mock election hustings

Aylsham High School students taking part in a election hustings for 600 pupils with students speakin

Aylsham High School students taking part in a election hustings for 600 pupils with students speaking for Labour, Conservative, Lib Dems and UKIP. Pictured from left George Cabre (UKIP), Jacob Sinkins (Liberal Democrats), Molly Locke (Conservative) and Ben Waller (Labour) Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Budding politicians spoke in support of four rival parties as part of a mock election at Aylsham High School.

Aylsham High School students taking part in a election hustings for 600 pupils with students speakin

Aylsham High School students taking part in a election hustings for 600 pupils with students speaking for Labour, Conservative, Lib Dems and UKIP. Pictured from left George Cabre (UKIP), Jacob Sinkins (Liberal Democrats), Molly Locke (Conservative) and Ben Waller (Labour) Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

George Cabré, 14, Ben Waller, 14, Jacob Sinkins, 13, and Molly Locke, 16, represented UKIP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, respectively.

They spoke at a hustings in front of the whole school today and yesterday about the importance of young people getting interested in the General Election and party policies.

Issues covered by the teenagers included education, health, the EU and economy and foreign aid.

It is the second time the school has held a mock election and this year's school event started in February.


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All the teenagers who represented the parties put themselves forward for the roles, based on their personal political views, and had to be selected as leaders by a select group of peers.

They are all supported by deputy leaders and a party team, made up of students.

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Dianne Wade, mock election co-ordinator, said: 'It is tremendous that young people are engaging with politics. It is a way of making them understand their future. For some people politics is a vague hum in the background on the television. To bring it into school is good because it makes people think about decisions. Some people in the audience were surprised about the policies. It is about bringing social responsibility to the fore.'

Headteacher Duncan Spalding said there was quite possibly a future parliamentarian among this year's mock election cohort.

He said: 'It is essential to get young people involved in politics. It is not just about understanding the issues, it is really important for them to develop their knowledge of the world.'

Molly Locke, from North Walsham, who wants to study politics at sixth form college, was passionate about politics and had found the mock election fun.

Ben Waller, from Hevingham, who was nervous before the hustings, said: 'I have loved every minute of it.'

Jacob Sinkins, from Swanton Abbott, said: 'There has been a nice friendly atmosphere between the parties.'

George Cabré, from Hainford, said it was a challenge to speak for UKIP because it was sometimes seen as a 'joke party'.

He said: 'There is a lot of political ignorance. The mock election has generated interest from students.'

As well the hustings, the school political parties are getting advice from Norfolk prospective parliamentary candidates.

All the high school students will be able to vote for their favourite party, out of UKIP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, on May 7.

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