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RuTC Immerses Students in Political Awareness and Their Right to Vote

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Eighteen RuTC politics students recently attended a conference for 6th form and college students in Richmond, titled ‘Your Right to Vote’. It was organized by Achieving for Children’s Youth Participation Team and took place at Heatham House Youth Centre, where students were provided with refreshments at lunchtime. The day included a speech from Andree Freeze, local Green Party candidate.

Students had the opportunity to ask questions whilst learning about the workings of local and national democratic structures, in light of elections taking place in March 2017 for the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council and members of the UK Youth Parliament for each borough. Ben Skelton, Youth Participation Lead at Achieving for Children commented “The 16-24 age group have a worryingly low level of voter registration and electoral turn out, meaning that political decision making is far less likely to take their needs in to consideration. Activities at the conference enabled students to reflect on the importance of politics and how to get their voices heard.”

AS Level Government and Politics students also enjoyed a trip to the Houses of Parliament this term. Stan Wilson-Hughes, AS Level Politics students said “the trip provided a first-hand look at our electoral and government systems. We started with a tour of Parliament where we saw both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which gave us an insight into how they both run. After our tour, we undertook an activity showing us how our electoral system works and how the alternative system, proportional representation, works. It was great fun as we were able to create our own political parties and manifestos. We also had the opportunity to ask MP Tania Mathias any questions we had as she was at the event to give a talk. Overall it was a great trip which gave us a practical understanding of how politics in this country really works.”

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