• December_2017_c

Local Parliamentary Candidates Visit for TMS Student Debate

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The visit by Labour candidate for Tonbridge and Malling, Dylan Jones and Liberal Democrat candidate for Maidstone and the Weald, Emily Fermor was in support of The Malling School’s general election campaign.  This follows an earlier visit by the incumbent Conservative candidate, Tom Tugendhat during last term.

Within the school, students are running for election in the name of the national parties.  The campaign is leading to a student vote on Thursday June 8th in parallel with the national vote.  The outcomes of previous Malling School elections have closely mirrored national results, and this was an opportunity for students to make an informed decision about their vote after listening to contrasting candidates during the campaign.

IMG_6720-2The candidates were first invited to watch The Malling School’s general election debate, taking place in a whole school assembly.  They witnessed first hand the preparation and care with which our students had prepared to argue their party’s case.  The debate saw well informed exchanges on key election areas such as defence, the economy, healthcare and education between TMS students.  Labour candidate Mr Jones said,

 “It was an honour to be invited to the Malling School's election hustings. It was great to see young pupils engaged and enthusiastic about politics. I also enjoyed being a part of other pupil led projects, such as the school radio and the speakers corner. The Malling School is clearly an environment where pupils have opportunities to exchange ideas, and to feel a part of the school community.”

IMG_6718-2Liberal Democrat Emily Fermor also commented, “The debate was really impressive. I liked the way the pupils split up the topics and how well they spoke up. It is a really difficult thing to do so well done everyone, and thank you for inviting me.”

Once the debate was concluded, years 9,10 and 12 were then able to hear presentations from the respective parliamentary candidates.  This was an important opportunity for these students to gain insight into the importance of the democratic process and political engagement to good citizenship. 

The event was organised by the teachers leading the respective school election campaigns, Literacy Coordinator Jon Cass, History teacher Joe Millard and English teacher Lesley Finlay. Mr Millard commented , “We are very grateful to all three parliamentary candidates for setting such a good example to our pupils as well as other politicians in taking the time to engage with our young people carefully and improve our school election campaign on all sides.  I hope this encourages our pupils to take an even keener interest in the issues facing our society.” 

Head Teacher Carl Roberts commented, “It was a pleasure to invite local parliamentary candidates to the school as we continue our focus on the important British value of democracy. Thank you to Mr Dylan Jones and Miss Emily Fermor for coming to school to speak with the pupils and to provide an alternative view to that heard a few weeks ago.

Tolerance for those with different beliefs, mutual respect and diplomacy are also British values we try to promote which is why we have invited all of the main political parties to speak to our pupils ahead of the election. The Malling School does not express a political view and will ensure that all mainstream views are represented fairly.”