Plunging Ribble Valley pupils into politics

St Augustine's RC High School students Zoe Pickin (13), Rachael Eddlestone (15), Matthew Ling (14) and Zaila Meakin with the Ribble Valley candidates Jackie Pearcey, David Hinder, Nigel Evans and Graham Sowter at the schools own Question Time.
St Augustine's RC High School students Zoe Pickin (13), Rachael Eddlestone (15), Matthew Ling (14) and Zaila Meakin with the Ribble Valley candidates Jackie Pearcey, David Hinder, Nigel Evans and Graham Sowter at the schools own Question Time.

It proved a morning of high level debate at Billington’s St Augustine’s RC High School as it hosted a Ribble Valley Question Time event with a twist.

Election candidates for the Ribble Valley constituency together with pupil candidates were put in the spotlight to discuss some of the matters closest to voters’ hearts.

In conjunction with today’s General Election, the school staged its very own in-school mock election placing the pupils at the very centre of politics to experience what the race for votes holds for them in the future.

Ribble Valley candidates, David Hinder (Labour), Jackie Pearcey (Liberal Democrat), Nigel Evans (Conservative) and Graham Sowter (Green), all came into school to reflect their own mock-election.

Following a theme suggested in a meeting between RE teacher Matthew Williams and CAFOD Salford, the Question Time event fell in line with the school’s involvement in the “One Climate, One World” campaign.

Pre-prepared questions were also developed based on the letter produced by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.

In the first half of the morning school political parties met to discuss their response to the questions on climate change, poverty, stewarding creation and education. They then sat alongside the Ribble Valley candidates and were questioned by the audience.