Pupils get a taste of politics as academy holds student elections

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left principal Alan Hardie, head boy Adam Wemyss, deputy head boy Jerin Juby, deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith, head girl Kate Wallace and vice chair govening body Milda Small
Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left principal Alan Hardie, head boy Adam Wemyss, deputy head boy Jerin Juby, deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith, head girl Kate Wallace and vice chair govening body Milda Small

Students at South Tyneside school were given a lesson in democracy when they headed to the polls to vote for their own leaders.

Whitburn Church of England Academy held its annual head girl and head boy elections and voted Kate Wallace and Adam Wemyss into the roles.

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left principal Alan Hardie, head boy Adam Wemyss, deputy head boy Jerin Juby, deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith, head girl Kate Wallace and vice chair govening body Milda Small

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left principal Alan Hardie, head boy Adam Wemyss, deputy head boy Jerin Juby, deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith, head girl Kate Wallace and vice chair govening body Milda Small

This was the final stage of an extended application process, which included a pre-election to select up to eight candidates from the 23 applicants. The candidates then had to convince their fellow pupils that they were suitable role models to represent all pupils within the school, presenting their case to all students in Year 9 and Year 10, as part of their Democracy Day programme.

Alan Hardie, the school’s principal, said: “The head girl and boy election day is a great example of how our wider curriculum helps to educate pupils about fundamental British values such as democracy, liberty and respect.

“The quality of all of the candidate’s speeches was amazing and I am very proud of all of our pupils who were brave enough to put themselves up for election.”

The voting process replicated the general election experience.

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left deputy head boy Jerin Juby, head boy Adam Wemyss, head girl Kate Wallace and deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'From left deputy head boy Jerin Juby, head boy Adam Wemyss, head girl Kate Wallace and deputy head girl Lauren Jarrett-Smith

Year 10 pupils were issued with voting slips, filled them in at a polling booth and put the completed forms into the ballot box.

A returning officer then read out the results – and also named the deputy head girl and boy as Lauren Jarrett-Smith and Jerin Juby.

The day was launched with a motivational speech by Fab Flournoy, Newcastle Eagles basketball player/coach, who spoke to the pupils about career aspirations.

Year 9 pupils then took part in a range of democracy-themed activities.

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'head boy Adam Wemyss and head girl Kate Wallace

Democracy day at Whitburn C of E Academy helping to vote in the new head boy and girl.'head boy Adam Wemyss and head girl Kate Wallace

Year 10 pupils attended a careers fayre and gained information on apprenticeships, employment and further education from over 60 different organisations.