Children will head to the polling stations for their own elections

Candidates in the election at Marine Park First School.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Candidates in the election at Marine Park First School.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Election fever is gripping a Whitley Bay school.

Youngsters at Marine Park First School are preparing to head to the voting booths for a very special election – their own Head Boy and Head Girl.

It’s important that children understand the importance as well as the process of democracy

Headteacher, Stephen Easton

A total of 30 Year 3 pupils stated their intentions to stand for the positions and submitted their own ‘childhood’ manifestos with catchy taglines.

The young ‘candidates’ took part in a ‘Question Time’ debate in front of an audience of 90 children representing all ages in the school.

In the lead up to May 7, they have been presenting their manifestos and ideas, answering questions, creating posters and setting out why they should be elected as school representatives.

As part of the democratic process, the 90 youngsters used special voting forms to narrow the field down to ten prospective leaders.

To mirror the national election campaigns, a group of eight and nine-year-olds will also be shooting a party political style broadcast for each of the candidates.

And today (Thursday) – election day itself – 450 pupils in the school will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred choice of candidate.

When all the votes are in, the school will compare its voter turnout with the national turnout.

Headteacher, Stephen Easton, said: “I am confident turnout will be high, dispelling the myth that young people aren’t interested in voting.

“It’s important that children understand the importance as well as the process of democracy.

“Whilst pupils at our school are too young to vote in the general and local council elections, they are involved in our very special school election for Head Boy and Head Girl.

“Pupils at Marine Park First School are not only the next generation of voters they have also shown they would make brilliant leaders in the future.”