During 2015 the UK Parliament is commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta, which paved the way for the House of Commons and the democracy we know today.
In line with delivering the citizenship part of the education curriculum, Mersey Vale Primary School in the Heatons invited Ann Coffey to come to talk to their School Council about democracy and to answer their questions about her job as an MP.
School Council members are elected across the school by other children in their class, and they were interested to know how Ann became an MP, what job she did before she became an MP, what she likes best about the job and whether she gets any holidays – to mention just a few of the questions. Ann explained that the School Council is a good demonstration of how democracy works, with everyone getting a vote. The children also saw a parallel between respect for the law, which everyone has to follow and which protects everyone, and the Golden Rules which they have at Mersey Vale. There was a lively discussion about the importance of giving everyone a fair chance to express their opinion and be listened to.
“Answering the children’s questions showed me what a lot they already understand about the key concepts of democracy and justice in our country. These young people have been born into a digital age and this will affect how they engage with the democratic process. They have many different ambitions – it would be great if I was talking to a future MP.”