Northamptonshire school holds mock General Election to teach students about polling day

A pupil casts his vote at the Southfields Primary School.
A pupil casts his vote at the Southfields Primary School.

Pupils had their say on the issues affecting their country today too in a mock General Election at a Northamptonshire primary school

Teachers at Southfields Primary School, in Banbury Road, Brackley, opened a polling station in a classroom to teach their students about voting.

One poorly pupil who could not make it to school was even given a postal vote.

"They're taking it very seriously," said headteacher Jane Cartlidge earlier today. "They've been fiercely debating policies. We've heard many of them are going home and nagging their parents to make sure they vote too.

"We held an assembly on Monday and tried our best to explain the main parties' policies. They've been debating on what they stand for and today they get to vote."

Popular policies included the Green Party's pledge to ban SATs and Labour's promise to give extra funding to schools, while the assembly booed the Conservative's plan for an open vote on the Hunting Act to legalise fox hunting.

Enthused by the different issues, pupils were also asked what their manifesto would say if they stood for Prime Minister.

Mrs Cartlidge said: "They have some interesting ideas. One child said they would give a hospital to every town. Another said they would put all weapons in a fire and ban killing animals. They are also very keen to ban smoking.

"Here at Southfield Primary School, we really think it's important to teach that voting is not just a right but a human value. We want them to be interested in voting when they get older."

The students were given simplified versions of the pledges set out by the five candidates for the Northamptonshire South seat. They voted today and the final count will be announced tomorrow morning.