60% of under-18s more likely to vote after taking part in HeadsUp - 6 Dec, 2007
A detailed evaluation exercise of the Hansard Society’s HeadsUp
innovative website for young people demonstrates a proven way to get
young people interested in politics and involved in political debate.
The HeadsUp Evaluation Report [PDF, 313KB] is available be download.
Key evaluation findings are:
- 60% of young people said they more likely to vote after taking part in HeadsUp
- 92% of teachers rated HeadsUp excellent or said they would use it again
- Debate findings from HeadsUp were quoted in Commons’ debate
from participating MPs include ‘an excellent resource which is not only
informative, but encourages active debate’; ‘the standard of debate and
discussion was very high’ and ‘The HeadsUp report is very encouraging;
it shows how much young people are interested and keen to participate
in addressing the issues’
- HeadsUp gives less confident youngsters in class the chance to have their say
2003, the number of legislators has increased significantly. For
example, in the last 10 debates 86 legislators have participated. There
has been a consistent involvement of high-profile Ministers
is a unique, ground-breaking website where under-18s debate political
issues and processes. The site is a non-partisan, cross-party
educational resource that provides a secure, structured and
student-centred discussion platform. The site is particularly useful in
delivering the Citizenship curriculum and recent forums have seen
comment from several Secretaries of State and their Shadow
Barry Griffiths, HeadsUp Manager, commented: ‘HeadsUp is
a testament to the young people, teachers and legislators who use the
resource on a regular basis as the site has been running since 2003.
There are many requests made upon young people’s time and the fact that
they continue to use HeadsUp highlights its attraction to young people across the country interested in having their say on topical issues.’
evaluation report looked at the period September 2006 – August 2007. It
examined the website’s design and ease of use; how students responded
to the debate topics and the role of decision-makers on the site; how
useful teachers found the site; and the views of MPs and other
decision-makers who took part in the forum debates over the year.
For more information contact Virginia Gibbons, Communications Manager at the Hansard Society on 0207 438 1225 or 07812 765 552.
is a vital resource for teaching the political literacy element of the
Citizenship Curriculum and ensuring young people's voices are heard by
decision-makers. In addition to the forum where school students explore
and debate the political issues and ideas that matter to them, there
are teachers' notes, ideas for classroom activities and background
information for young people all available on the HeadsUp website.
was launched in June 2003 as a resource to promote political awareness
and participation amongst young people under the age of 18. The site
assists teachers in covering the political literacy strand of
citizenship education and MPs can use it to consult with their younger
constituents. The site is co-funded by the Ministry of Justice (former
DCA) and the House of Commons.
- The main feature of HeadsUp is a moderated online forum, where students deliberate on topical issues that relate
to work in Parliament amongst themselves and with parliamentarians. The
forum is supported by relevant background information and reference
material – for both young people and educators. There are now two ways
to register to participate in HeadsUp:
- Young People – If you
are under 18 and want to get involved you need to email us at
email@example.com. We will then email you back with your unique
username and password. Once you’re registered you can take part
wherever and whenever you want.
- Teachers – can register a whole class/school year/group by completing our online registration form.
- All HeadsUp
forums are open to all to view and follow the debate. This will benefit
many young people, teachers and parliamentarians as they will now be
able to ‘try before they buy’ and observe the dynamic of the debates
without being registered. Participants will still need to register or
login to post comments.