Primary pupils write to the new Prime Minister
In the run up to the election hundreds of primary school children from all over the UK wrote a letter to the future Prime Minister to voice their opinions and concerns about the world they live in. The letters were written as part of a competition, run by the Citizenship Foundation’s Go Givers programme, that asked primary pupils to tell the Prime Minister what they think needs to be done to make Britain a better place. There were responses from children as young as seven, who not only voiced their concerns and gave potential solutions, but who also showed great empathy and understanding of complex policy issues. However, the overall winner was 10 year old Ione from Rhodes Avenue Primary School, Wood Green, who wrote a very passionate, committed and reflective letter, saying ‘Britain is being referred to as broken Britain so we have to come up with new ways to get Britain out of this mess.’
Although the children were given some suggested topics to discuss in their letters, they also were encouraged to put forward the issues that were important to them. These ranged from littering, world peace and gun crime to underage drinking and vandalism. Some of the children also tackled the complicated areas of the economy and the tax system: ‘Is the tax going to the right place? I really thought that over during the night and I think some of it is and some not!' (Freddie, nine).
Fifty two of these insightful letters - in addition to those of the winner and runner-up (Ben Hampel, eight) - will be showcased in a book to be distributed to new government ministers.
This competition not only highlighted young people's concerns but also the ability, skills and insight they are capable of contributing to society and the interest they have in how their country should be run. Indeed, they may not be old enough to vote, but they are already proposing ways in which they can be heard. Jack, nine, said: ‘It would be great if kids had more information about the election, the candidates and ideas for the future.' He also suggested a ‘Campaign for Kids' and ‘mock votes for kids' because it would ‘prepare them for the future when they have to vote for real'.
Emma Doyle at the Citizenship Foundation, tel: 0207 566 4134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
About the Citizenship Foundation
The Citizenship Foundation is an independent education and participation charity (no 801360) that aims to encourage and enable individuals to engage in democratic society. Founded in 1989, our particular focus is on developing young people's citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding of the law, democracy and public life. We do this by championing civic participation, supporting teachers and schools with the delivery of citizenship education and by working with young people in community-settings on issues that concern them. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk
Go-Givers (www.gogivers.org) is the Citizenship Foundation's flagship PSHE and Citizenship programme for primary schools. It aims to develop caring and concerned citizens with the skills and confidence to make a difference to their communities, both local and global. Go-Givers is funded by the Cabinet Office.
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To find out more please email:
- Emma Doyle
T:020 7566 4134