Pupils from Bell Baxter High School in Cupar will hold their first mock parliamentary election on Monday 24 November, with each of the five S1 candidates supported by an MSP from each political party in the Scottish Parliament.
Teachers and pupils will have the opportunity take part in the ‘real life’ election, listening to speeches, considering their verdict and then placing their vote. Staff from the Scottish Parliament have been working with the school to help ensure the process is as realistic as possible.
Monday’s mock election will run from 9.15am until 10.45am and will be held in the school’s main hall. The election will start off with S1 candidates delivering their speech to the rest of the S1 classes, supported by their respective MSP. There will then be an opportunity for students and teachers to question the ‘real-life’ MSPs, before voting begins. Polling stations will be set up for pupils' votes to be placed and teachers will have ballot boxes placed in their staffroom. Votes will be added up and the results announced at the end of the day. Similar to a real election, staff and S1 pupils who cannot be present on the day will also have an opportunity for early voting.
Mr David Thomson (Modern Studies teacher and election organiser), said: “This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about voting and election procedures. We hope the day will help educate and engage the pupils’ interest in politics. It is a great example of how Modern Studies can help deliver A Curriculum for Excellence by encouraging responsible citizens and by developing political literacy, essential in a modern democratic society.”
The Parliament’s Education and Community Partnerships team has been involved in helping the school prepare to brief S1 classes in advance. On Thursday 20 November, the Parliament’s Education staff delivered three sessions to brief seven S1 classes with background information on the Scottish Parliament, MSPs and the voting system. Pictures of all these activities (Thursday 20 and Monday 24 November) are available on request, see below for contact details.
Members of the media are welcome to attend the mock election and should contact Isla Mair at the Parliament to make the appropriate arrangements. Images of activities taking place on Thursday 20 November will be made available free of charge from the Scottish Parliament on Friday 21 November – and of Monday’s event from 1pm onwards.
MSPs attending election:
- Ian Smith - Liberal Democrats
- Claire Baker - Labour
- Ted Brocklebank - Conservatives
- Robin Harper – Greens (Robin Harper attending for Greens as none represented in the area)
- Christopher Harvie - SNP