Children debate the voting age as MP pays Gosport school a visit

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage visits Siskin Junior School with pupils Front L-R  Chloe leaver 9, Jessica Lawton 8, Joanie Smith 9, Tommy Redford 9 and back L-R Angel Usher 9, Stevi Legg-Evans 8, Alicia Bowler 8''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150110-4)
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage visits Siskin Junior School with pupils Front L-R Chloe leaver 9, Jessica Lawton 8, Joanie Smith 9, Tommy Redford 9 and back L-R Angel Usher 9, Stevi Legg-Evans 8, Alicia Bowler 8''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150110-4)
Charlie Dickie at the Havant Sixth Form campus of HSDC Picture: Habibur Rahman (171065-43)

Visions for the future are cemented as great results see Havant and Waterlooville students off to follow their dreams

1
Have your say

THE House of Commons is a bit different to life in the classroom.

But students at Siskin Junior School in Rowner, Gosport, had a little taste of the life of an MP when they took part in a debate.

Caroline Dinenage, the MP for Gosport, visited the school and worked with a group of Year 6 pupils.

They held a debate on whether or not the voting age should be lowered to 16.

Around 75 per cent of the class agreed it should stay at 18.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘We talked about my life as an MP and we discussed how democracy works and why we have the system that we do.

‘I turned the classroom into the House of Commons and they all became honourable ladies and gentlemen.

‘It’s valuable to show them what we do in parliament and how it works.

‘By the end of it, 40 per cent of the class wanted to be an MP so I have got some competition on my hands.

‘The children were engaged. There were lots of questions and they were getting involved.’

Ms Dinenage was given a tour of the school which has joined up with the infants.

In 2013, the school was graded good by Ofsted – a huge jump in standards compared with 2009 when it was put in special measures.

The school had a £2.3m revamp as part of the partnership and is one of the top 100 performing schools in the country in terms of improving pupils’ standards.

Ms Dinenage added: ‘They have made incredible achievements.

‘To have made such enormous progress is brilliant and the quality of the work they are doing is strong.’

Jill Roseblade is the acting executive headteacher.

She said: ‘We’ve just had our best results ever. We wanted to show Caroline how much we had improved.

‘It’s important for them to have a voice for themselves and express themselves.

‘Caroline was really relaxed and she had it all set up like a real parliament. It was a taste of life outside of school.’