Election fever has come early to Bootham School whose preparations are well underway to hold an election hustings for local party candidates on 26th March, to which York's secondary school students have been invited.
Assistant Headteacher, James Radcliffe, explained "With a team of student co-ordinators, we set the ball rolling with an initial poll of students and staff to see how the land lay. This produced a moderate win for the Conservatives followed by the Greens with the next largest share of the vote. Since then we’ve seen a definite scaling up of interest with some lively debates in the lunch queue as people try to persuade each other to their respective parties. The hustings evening is open to local schools and their families, and so far we have five parties confirmed as attending. Of course we have been discussing the election in class, including in Maths, my own subject, with topics like how companies and pollsters get a fair sample in opinion polls.
Headmaster, Jonathan Taylor, said, "I have been impressed by the students' engagement in the national debate. As a Quaker School, we describe our aim as educating global citizens, and as responsible citizens our students expectation is to keep alert and questioning minds, and to challenge injustice and the causes of social unrest."
When Election Day finally dawns on 7th May, Bootham students will all be issued with polling cards and directed to various polling stations around the school. “It will be as close to the real thing as we can possibly make it,” continued James Ratcliffe, “it will be fascinating to see what changes have resulted during the campaign season.”