Promotion of Citizenship within Schools
The Chair welcomed student and teacher representatives from
Lincoln Christ's Hospital School who had been invited to speak
regarding their experience of citizenship lessons and more broadly
regarding the relationship between local government and young
The Democratic Services Officer:
- presented a report regarding the provision of citizenship
lessons within Lincoln's schools.
- noted that members had expressed an interest in the item at a
previous meeting and had requested that school representatives be
invited to provide their views on the topic.
Members requested details of pupils' experiences of citizenship
The student representatives (Tallulah Carter-Kelly, Douglas Franks,
and Luke Gregory-Jones) responded that:
- citizenship lessons had not always formed a particularly
prominent or memorable role in their education to date.
- the subject had been useful with particular regard to learning
about the judicial system.
Members questioned whether the Council could do more to encourage
participation by young people.
The student representatives responded that council involvement,
either by the city or county council, was minimal, and noted that
there was scope for councils to take greater involvement with
sixth-form pupils through General Studies lessons.
Members and school representatives discussed the advantages and
disadvantages of compulsory voting systems and lowering the voting
age to allow 16 year olds to vote in local and national
The teacher representative (Jane Hancock) questioned the student
representatives regarding the possible reasons for young people
failing to engage with politics. The student representatives
suggested a number of possible reasons for the lack of engagement
including a failure to engage with pupils in lower years, a lack of
emphasis on local government in schools, and a need for new methods
of communication, such as social media, to be embraced.
Members noted the divide between younger people and older people in
terms of the extent to which they made use of the internet to
communicate; there was a further need to ensure inter-generational
cooperation and a responsibility for younger people to look after
Members and school representatives discussed the historic power
distribution between central and local government.
teacher representative noted the role of political parties in
encouraging young people to engage with politics, noting one of the
student representative's difficulty in taking a full role in a
political party without meeting the minimum membership
Members discussed the manner in which political parties could work
with young people, including through universities. The role of
social media in encouraging new participation was further
discussed, in addition to the under-representation of both women
and young people as a whole throughout political parties.
Members and student representatives discussed the relative
benefits of young people taking an active interest in
politics, and the extent to which those who took an interest in
politics formed a minority within their age group.
questioned what single action the student representatives would
want the Council to take in order to improve electoral
The student representatives responded that it was necessary to show
people how significant an impact local politics could make to their
lives. In particular, local government needed to be given the power
to resist central government control in order to allow bridges to
be formed between neighbourhoods and local politics.
Members discussed the manner in which they could develop the
contributions of the teacher and student representatives to improve
the Council's democratic engagement with young people. Further work
would need to be carried out to establish a suitable format for an
initial trial, preferably continuing with the assistance already
provided by those from Lincoln Christ's Hospital School.
RESOLVED that officers be requested to work with representatives
from Lincoln Christ's Hospital School to establish an initial event
allowing the Council to contribute towards aiding young people's
engagement with democracy.