Penrice Votes: Election Hustings

On Thursday 23rd April, Penrice Academy invited parliamentary candidates for Saint Austell and Newquay, to take part in a panel event in front of an audience of over 70 students.

Following a tour of the school by student representatives for each party, the Conservative, Labour, Green, Lib Dem and Mebyon Kernow candidates took turns explaining their party’s policies and addressing questions such as their plans for NHS in Cornwall, and what each party can do for the good of the students at the school.

David Parker, Principal, told the students: “You have had an opportunity I wish I had had when I was your age. One of these people will be your next MP, and you have sat in a room with them and you have questioned them – an opportunity which is very precious. You have been brilliant.”

The visit forms part of Penrice’s Mock Election, which is in full swing, and will see the school’s party representatives talking in assemblies to different year groups about what they have learnt during the hustings. A mock vote will then take place on May 7th, to find out which party had the biggest impact on the students.

Nikita Jenkins from Year 11, who put a question to Conservative Candidate Steve Double regarding improvement of accountability in the healthcare system, said: “The event was compelling – it’s given me an enriched perspective of each parties prospects and I was about to ask the candidates a question that I personally feel is a real issue. I feel I have gained a higher knowledge of political issues within my local area and it was a privilege to be able to meet the candidates and hear from them what their party stands for.”

Technology Teacher Aimee Stevens, who is leading organisation of the election events alongside English Teacher Paul Johnson, said: “It’s so important that that our students understand how this election process works, how they, as young adults, can change and influence what really goes on. I hope our students will be positively influenced over the coming weeks through meeting Parliamentary Candidates, Counsellors and having the opportunity to influence our community here at Penrice. We’ve heard from parents that many have been discussing politics over breakfast – which is fantastic!”

Read more:  Penrice Votes: Mock Election