Developing young citizens

Pupils from Swarland Primary School, Horton Grange Primary School, Hipsburn Primary School, Bothal Primary School, Central Primary School and Newminster Middle School receive certificates from councillors.
Pupils from Swarland Primary School, Horton Grange Primary School, Hipsburn Primary School, Bothal Primary School, Central Primary School and Newminster Middle School receive certificates from councillors.

Pupils from Swarland and Hipsburn Primary Schools, among those pictured above receiving certificates from councillors, were part of a group of schoolchildren of all ages invited into County Hall for Local Democracy Week.

The collaboration between Northumberland County Council’s democratic services and the youth service, saw around 1,000 pupils of all ages take part in activities themed around citizen participation earlier this month.

Pupils attended workshops where they developed artwork for International Women’s Day and looked at issues that affect them in their local community and how campaigning for change works.

Pupils also had the opportunity to ask local town and county councillors questions in formal Question Time sessions, which resulted in lively debates each time.

Coun Richard Dodd, business chairman at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is a great opportunity for local schoolchildren to get involved in politics from an early age and increase their awareness of issues in their local communities. Pupils came away from these sessions having developed new skills that will be invaluable to their futures.”