Make Your Mark

This week the whole of senior school took part in some 'democracy in action' when they voted in the Youth Parliament, Make Your Mark Ballot.

The annual, national ballot asks school children about the political issues that are important to them. The most popular issues are then actually debated by members of the Youth Parliament in Westminster later in the year and an action plan is set for how Youth Parliament with lobby on the issues the next year. Last year our own Year 12 student, Charlie McDonald, was in Westminster for the debate on tackling knife crime and was able to share this experience with our pupils in the ballot assembly. Members of Year 10 with an interest in politics and the media also helped Mrs McKeirnan communicate the issues on the ballot paper with the pupils. In true Queen's fashion it was a high tech vote using iPad with the results available instantly.

The Queen's School top UK-wide issue was to 'protect the environment' by a significant margin. For the first time this year Youth Parliament also asked us to vote on a devolved issue. The results were closer here with 'putting an end to knife crime' leading again, followed by 'mental health' and tackling child poverty'. We also had an opportunity to vote for a local issue.'Tackling homelessness' was the most popular option here but girls had lots of great ideas like addressing drug misuse, litter, cycle lanes, pot holes and smoking in the streets.

Our school results will be added to the national Youth Parliament results - just one way that our pupils can make their voice heard in these turbulent political times.