By Cameron Dhaliwal
Wales High School near Sheffield held their own mock election so pupils could embrace the wave of voting fever that spread through the country.
The idea came from a member of their school council, who proposed that the fake general election could help educate students about the British political system.
The mock election was exactly the same as the one that has swept the nation over the past two months, with replicas of parties, policies, leaders and speeches.
The Labour candidate was victorious, taking 31% of the vote, with the Brexit party second on 23%.
Organiser and Sixth Form staff member Laura Finney said: “We advertised to students that we would be holding a mock election in school and asked for volunteers to take part.
“We then held a meeting with those students and party leaders were nominated.
“Parties put up posters, spoke in assemblies and spoke to students about their policies – the day before the general election we had a debate, which had a brilliant turnout!”
History teacher Mr Bull chaired the debate, putting forward difficult questions to each party leader and the audience were encouraged to ask questions as well.
After all the campaigning and debating, akin to the whole country, the school allowed all students to use their democratic right to vote.
Sixth-former Oliver Johnston, 16, voted and said the mock election was a good idea.
He said: “There was a debate on Wednesday in the library where the party candidates all gave their opinions on why they should be the best party to vote for.
“It taught us about what’s going on in politics and gave us a greater idea on the real life election.”
The great turnout and engagement has shown a positive spark for the future engagement of Sheffield constituents.
Miss Finney added: “The students really enjoyed the process.
“We have felt incredibly proud at the mature approach they’ve taken and the knowledge they’ve got on each party and their manifestos.
“Students were pleasantly surprised when they saw that the grand hall was set up with proper voting booths and ballot papers.”
To ensure all students thoroughly understood the political process, active tutorials were issued for tutors to explain to students, and party leaders presented them in assembly.