A new local scheme is taking off to give all school pupils in south Leeds dedicated classes on political awareness during their educational career.
In July the Year 5 students at Park View Primary Academy in Beeston Hill participated in a pilot session – with several other schools looking to take up the offer for the coming school year.
Beeston resident Ed Carlisle is coordinating the project, and looking to work with a range of other partners and volunteers – from different political positions – to deliver it.
The participatory sessions will follow a template, and include the nature and structure of democracy, how elections work, different political parties, local and national politics, activism separate to electoral politics, and the crucial importance of positive disagreement and collaboration.
“Politics is clearly a major feature of our society, so it’s mad that it’s not taught consistently in our schools.
“We need to work together to build a good political culture in and for our communities and our city – so that all citizens know how it works, and how they can be part of it. With luck, we’ll help inspire our leaders of the future.”
Riccardo Paffetti, principal at Park View, added:
“Our pupils are confident, articulate, and keen to make a difference; teaching them how to take part in our democracy is also investing in our future. Year 5 really enjoyed learning how politics and democracy can enable them to improve our community, and how this works in the real world.”
The plan is to start rolling classes out in primary and secondary schools across LS10 and LS11, over the coming school year. To find out more, and to get involved (as a volunteer, or on behalf of a school), get in touch with Ed on 07738 921277.