Democracy in the classroom

Andrew Bowie with Banchory-Devenick pupils
Andrew Bowie with Banchory-Devenick pupils

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has helped pupils at a local primary school stage a mock UK parliament vote as part of a project on democracy.

Children at Banchory-Devenick split into two groups – the government and opposition, before the a motion was moved and debated back and forth.

One pupil played the part of the Commons Speaker, and called the division at which point the youngsters all went through lobbies to vote in the classroom.

There were whips and tellers to count the votes and announce the results.

Earlier, Mr Bowie had given a talk on Westminster, describing how elections work, what happens once you are elected as an MP, and the processes in parliament.

The MP said: “This was a fantastic experience and I commend the pupils from Banchory-Devenick on a very good recreation of a vote in the Commons.

“We discussed how parliament works before-hand, and the pupils wasted no time in getting stuck into the debate.

“The pupils seemed to really enjoy the mock vote and debate, and I hope this will spark an interest in politics and democracy beyond this current project they are working on.

“We need to get more young people engaged in politics, and this event shows that it is never too early to do so.”

Mr Bowie’s visit to the school was prompted by the class teacher who had just returned from a three-day trip to Westminster, as part of the UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador Programme.