As part of Enrichment Day the College invited representatives from local political parties to come in and take part in an ‘Any Questions’ style debate with 6th Form students preparing questions as part of their studies.
The idea for the event came about after students recently attended a recording of the BBC’s ‘Any Questions’ at Seal Hayne. They came away having had a very interesting and enjoyable evening but disappointed that not all their questions were chosen for the panel to discuss. By hosting their own version of the show the students were able to ensure that all their questions were addressed by the panel!
Many of the 6th Form students will be eligible to vote at the General Election and this was an ideal opportunity to ask questions and make decisions on who they might vote for in the election.
The event was chaired by Dr Sarah Cooper of Exeter University. Invitations to attend and be represented on the panel were accepted by members of the following parties: Labour, Liberal, Green and UKIP parties.
The questions asked by the students were very topical with a particular emphasis on education and policies regarding University Fees. There was a general agreement that university fees should be revised with the UKIP party pledging that one of their policies would be to scrap fees for Science and Technology related courses.
Mr Davies, Deputy Head of Sixth Form completed the proceedings by asking each of the parties how they would improve the quality of life in Newton Abbot. The general consensus was that housing is a key issue.
At the end of the morning the students talked informally with the local politicians whilst at the same time taking it in turns to cast their ‘vote’ in the secret ballot by placing a coloured marble in the appropriate jar.
Overall it was a really interesting event for the students, giving them plenty to think about when it comes to casting their actual votes in the general election.