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Schools should encourage discussions around elections, 11/03/15 [S]

The enthusiasm with which 16 and 17 year olds embraced the opportunity to vote in last year’s referendum should be supported by schools in the run up to other elections, a Scottish Parliamentary Committee has recommended.

The recommendation – that consideration be given to ensuring that 16 and 17 year pupils feel able to discuss election issues in a ‘pre-election’ period – was one of several contained in a wider report by the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee on the electoral management of the Scottish independence referendum. 

The report congratulated all those involved in “managing and administering the referendum for the successful delivery of the most significant electoral event in Scottish political history”.  However the Committee also identified areas for consideration around future polls. 

Bruce Crawford MSP said: 

“If last year’s referendum presented an unprecedented demand and expectation of electoral management, it is clear that those involved rose to that challenge - they have earned our gratitude. 

“For the first time ever in the UK, 110,000 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote and the overwhelming majority took advantage of that opportunity.  However during our evidence gathering it became clear that there were different attitudes in different schools to how and when referendum related issues could be raised and discussed.

For full details see the Scottish Government website.

Further Information Schools should encourage discussions around elections, Parliamentary Committee recommends