Change Your Future: young students take part in UK wide politics initiative
16 October 2015
This month, students from the lower sixth form of St John’s College, Cardiff were guests of the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Wales Governance Centre (WGC), and the National Assembly at an event held in the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay.
Run in collaboration with the Political Studies Association, this event was one of a series taking place across the UK entitled ‘Change your Future: Understand Parliament’. The event gave young people the chance to examine the functions of legislatures in the UK and an opportunity to suggest improvements.
Wide-ranging discussion with the students covered a variety of topics including the largely negative manner in which MPs are often portrayed in the media, the relationship between Westminster and The Senedd, the extent and nature of political education in schools, and the vexed issue of compulsory voting.
The students involved enjoyed the workshop, with one remarking, “It made me aware that there is so much more to politics. I also now realise how difficult it is for the government to try and increase participation in the political system and how vital this knowledge is for young people.”
Dr Stephen Thornton (who organised the event with the valuable assistance of Dr Ian Stafford, Lleu Williams of the WGC and Rachel Evans) commented that, “The enthusiasm for knowledge about the political system displayed by these 16 and 17 year olds is very encouraging – though it is equally clear that MPs and AMs do need to raise their game to become positive role models amongst the young.”