Pupils give students a voice

Pupils give students a voice

31st July 2013


YOUNG voters have been learning about the power of politics as they selected pupil representatives to give students a voice.

Democratically minded students at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science have voted two pupil representatives onto the school’s governing body.

In a whole school vote Joe Clark, 13, and Annie Park, 13, were elected from a shortlist of nine candidates to sit on the school board alongside fellow school governors, the head teacher, staff, members and parent representatives.

Maths teacher Tom Holmes, who supervised the election with English teacher Michael Morrell, said: “All of the election candidates were nominated by a member of staff, or their peers, and each put forward a strong case on why they should be elected to the board.

“Joe and Annie were the clear winners winning 20 per cent and 19 per cent of the vote respectively. The closest runner up was Rebecca Richmond, 15, who we have asked to be a reserve governor.

“Having school elections is a great way for our students to see democracy in action. Nobody knows more about what pupils would like to see in schools than the students themselves and hopefully they will put forward a host of good ideas.”

DSMS’s governing body meets six times a year and also operates a series of sub-committees. The students’ term of office will last a year after which there will be another election.

Joe, of Darlington, said: “I was nominated by my tutor and thought that being a governor would be a good thing to do.

“It’s a way in which we can put forward all of the students’ ideas, proposals and concerns to people who can make change happen.”

Annie, of Darlington, said: “I have some strong views for change in the school from lessons to extra curricular activities and even the school menu.

“Joe and I will be in post for 12 months and hopefully we can make a difference in that time.”

Head teacher Calvin Kipling added: “Pupils are the main service users in schools and it is extremely important to get their viewpoint.

“Being on the board alongside the other elected governors gives them that opportunity to help make that difference.”

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