Last week at Graeme High we launched our ‘Time out to get in’ campaign, in partnership with the Electoral Commission’s nationwide campaign which last week asked teachers to take time out and help their 15-17 year-old students register to vote.
We kick started the campaign at Graeme High on Thursday, 3 September with assemblies for S4-6 pupils. This was followed by a series of events allowing pupils the opportunity to register on-line during class time and at lunchtimes in our school library.
Our House Captains worked with the Electoral Commission and a BBC correspondent to produce a news bulletin for national television and they were interviewed by local press for a newspaper launch.
Speaking to Andy O’Neill of the Electoral Commission, Head of the Scotland Office during the launch of the event, he said “it was an inspiration to see so many young people eager to register, and it brought a smile to his face to see young people engaging in politics’.
The registration event was a terrific opportunity for our students to really explore the importance of voting and the opportunities and concerns they face in exercising their democratic right to vote in Scottish and local elections at age 16 and 17. Nothing focuses the mind like a telly camera pointing at you! The Captains then volunteered to support others during lunchtime in the school library. The Captains really did step up to this leadership challenge and our 15-17 year pupils are now fully aware of the changes for next year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.
The captains that took part in the registration event included Amie Forsyth (17), Connor Robb (17), Lewis Dawson (16), Kara McCormick (17), Amy Duvall (17) and Daniel Tran (17). They all were proud to be a part of this and said they would use the knowledge they have gained from the campaign to encourage other young people to register. Speaking to Daniel after the event he said “this gives us the opportunity to prove to older generations that we are not disengaged and disinterested in politics and that we can engage”.
Following the success of the event my message to all 15-17 year-olds across Scotland is, Graeme High school and our students are #IN, are you?
Headteacher, Graeme High School