Dornoch Academy to vote in referendum mock election

On Tuesday 4 March all 274 pupils in Dornoch Academy are being invited to vote in the mock referendum which will take place within the school between 8am and 5pm. The result will be announced the following day in front of senior pupils.

Dornoch Academy is following a template used at Nairn Academy in November last year. The mock elections are part of an exercise in the Highlands to raise awareness among young people of the democratic process in the run up to the independence referendum on 18 September this year. 

A similar exercise is planned to take place at the 49-pupil Kilnochbervie High School in April.

The mock referendums are being organised by school communities in partnership with election officials at The Highland Council and follow a decision by the Council’s Community Planning, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee to involve younger people in voting.

Senior Dornoch pupils Sandy Mackay and Jodie Ross will be playing a key role in promoting the election and acting as the Presiding Officers at the count. Other senior pupils will be helping to generate interest in the mock referendum by promoting the “yes” or “no” campaigns.

Polling cards have been issued to all pupils and the run up to the election, culminates in a debate in front of the whole school on the afternoon before referendum day with senior pupils arguing the case for and against voting for the proposition:  “Should Scotland be an independent country”.

Head Teacher John Garvie said: “This school referendum  mirrors completely a national election.  Not only in the political discussion that takes place but also in the detailed administration of a fair and open  election in our democratic  society.  It hits so many educational objectives, too, and is an excellent example of the new approach to the school curriculum in all its breadth and relevance”.

Pupil Sandy Mackay added: “This is an exciting opportunity for young people in Dornoch Academy to discuss the issues of the Independence Referendum and how it will affect their futures”

Councillor Drew Millar, Chair of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee said: “We are delighted that Dornoch Academy has offered to organise the second mock election which is linked to the Scottish Independence referendum.  The aim is to encourage younger people to engage with the voting process and this is an excellent way to generate interest.”

The result will be announced at 11am on Wednesday 5 March.

ENDS

26 Feb 2014
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