Our education and democracy training programmes support citizens, particularly young people, to develop the knowledge and confidence they need to play an active role in our democracy and be future leaders in civic and political life. We run the largest mock elections in schools programme anywhere in the world and we have provided thousands of teachers with award-winning curriculum resources and bespoke training across the country. The Society was instrumental in the adoption of citizenship education as part of the national curriculum a decade ago and continues to campaign for improvements in political literacy support for young people, most recently as a founding member of the Democratic Life coalition.
We also provide bespoke training and executive education programmes on constitutional, political and parliamentary issues. In recent years we have hosted development programmes focused on parliamentary strengthening and public engagement for delegations of MPs, government officials and civil society campaigners from countries such as Argentina, Burma, China, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Norway, Serbia, South Africa, and Vietnam. Find out more about our range of programmes and what we can offer.
We have run a national mock elections programme in schools for over 50 years and it is now the biggest mock elections programme anywhere in the world. At the 2010 general election 250,000 pupils took part and in the last decade, since it went online, one million young people have been given their first taste of elections through ‘YVote’ Mock Elections. The programme provides schools with all the ballot papers, campaign guidance, rosette templates and other supporting materials they need to organise an event that mirrors the excitement and buzz of a real election. The Society aggregates the results from schools across the country to create a ‘national Y Vote result’ offering interesting insights into what young people think about politics at each national election.
People to Parliament
Our democracy training course, targeted at disengaged and under-represented groups, provides community leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to get involved in the parliamentary process and connect with key decision-makers. The course includes a six week evening training programme exploring how Parliament and our wider democratic system works, and a short placement with an MP to provide participants with hands-on experience of Parliament and the opportunity to meet politicians and parliamentary staff. The project is currently training BME citizens in London with the support of the City Bridge Trust and in partnership with Somali Diaspora UK
Our latest online learning tool provides parliamentarians and civil society in emerging and aspiring democracies with an ‘insiders guide’ to the Westminster Parliament. A series of online interviews with MPs, Peers and parliamentary staff explore how the UK parliamentary system works: the history and constitutional position of Parliament, how laws are made and scrutinised, the role of our representatives, and how Parliament operates day-to-day. There is a 30 minute video introduction to Parliament and a range of linked resources and materials.
PARLIAMENT AND SCHOOLS
BIG BEN AND ALL THAT!
Developed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, this free resource pack helps students understand the EU and how it works, build awareness of the impact the EU has on their lives, and explains how they can influence decisions made in Brussels and Strasbourg.
This free resource pack, developed with Parliament’s Education Service, provides guidance to helps teachers and students, and MPs and Peers, to organise a successful school visit so young people can make the most of a meeting with their parliamentary representatives.
Developed with the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT), this free CD-Rom gives teachers the inside scoop on what goes on in Westminster through bite-sized interviews with MPs, Peers, and teachers and archived footage of Parliament in action.
HeadsUp was an online forum for under 18s to debate political issues with their peers up and down the country, and with influential decision-makers. It provided a safe, student-oriented space where young people become more informed about political issues, improve their discussion skills and let adults with political influence know what they think. HeadsUp ran for 10 years from 2003-2013, generation almost 10,000 students comments across 50 forums. Write-ups of the debates were circulated to parliamentarians and policy makers, and were cited on numerous occasions in Parliament.