Mrs Clark reports: This term I have had the pleasure of helping four brilliant students run their campaigns to be elected as Bradon Forest’s representative for Wiltshire Youth Council. Students were informed of the opportunity via their tutors and needed to complete a manifesto to register as a potential candidate. After submitting detailed manifestos, our four candidates then participated in an online meeting with members of Wiltshire Council to learn more about their potential roles and responsibilities and all four were very active in asking questions and finding out more about the role.

After producing their own campaign literature (presentations and posters), students held a ‘Meet the Candidates’ session during their lunch break. This gave fellow students opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the candidates and what their priorities were if elected. Some of the candidates made cupcakes and even brought mascots with them! Topics discussed included the price of food in the canteen, promotion of LGBTQ+ inclusivity in school and lots of other issues. Students that visited the candidates stalls were very encouraged by the enthusiasm and determination that was shown during their discussions. Some were quick to make their decision, whilst others deliberated for longer and weighed up the options; it was difficult having to choose between four fantastic candidates.

Finally, election week arrived. All students at Bradon Forest received an electronic link to vote and many took the opportunity to participate in the democratic process. A large percentage of our student body voted for their preferred candidate and we are extremely pleased to announce Emily Marvell, Year 8, as our Wiltshire Youth Council representative. Alongside Emily, Adam Morley will make a brilliant deputy.

When asked what their key priorities are in their new positions, Emily stated: “My key priorities are preventing unnecessary litter and promoting positive care for the environment, encouraging positive behaviour and respect for the school, its learners and staff and encouraging positive mental health through developing self-awareness and a can-do attitude.” Similarly, Adam’s priorities are to “help people feel happier, safer and more confident at school.”

Both of these students will now attend future Wiltshire Youth Council meetings on behalf of Bradon Forest School and will share any feedback or suggestions that they have about how to improve life for school children in Wiltshire. They also both have opportunity to run for Youth Parliament, so we may be seeing them in the House of Commons one day!