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Students Connect with Politics for National Democracy Week

Author: Duncan Merren Published: 4th July 2018 15:07

 Cllr Derrick Haley (left) and Mr Paul Heffer (right) at Thurston Community College

Students Connect with Politics for National Democracy Week

Students at Thurston Community College have marked National Democracy Week by welcoming Mid Suffolk's Chairman to talk about the importance of democracy.

Cllr Derrick Haley, Chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council, visited Thurston Community College this morning to talk with pupils from years 7, 8 and 9, discussing how politics influences their lives and how democracy will give them a chance to be a part of politics.

National Democracy Week runs from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 July, marking the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act which gave women the same voting rights as men on 2 July 1928. It also coincides with Thurston Community College's PSHCE Week, focusing on Personal Social, Health and Citizenship Education, including the importance of democratic participation.

Cllr Derrick Haley, Chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: "At all levels, from parish councils right up the national government, politics depends on the participation of everyone. For many of the students I spoke to, the next general election will be one of their first opportunities to vote, and their enthusiasm to take part is a reminder of just how important the franchise is and just how far reaching the reforms of 90 and 100 years ago have been."

Paul Heffer, PSHCE Coordinator at Thurston Community College, said: "We were delighted to be able to welcome Councillor Hayley into Thurston Community College this morning. Our Year 7, 8 & 9 students listened with great interest to all that Councillor Hayley had to share with them about the importance of ‘democracy'. Councillor Hayley's talk prompted the students to think about and ask searching questions throughout the session. Councillor Hayley urged the students to reflect upon the importance of ‘listening to others'. He also reminded them that they should value the opportunity of being part of a democratic society; for instance, the freedom to be able to vote in elections and so to have the chance to participate in the democratic process.

"We are very grateful to Councillor Hayley for his time, enthusiasm & for his willingness to contribute in this way to our PSHCE Week 2018 here at the college."

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