Liberal Democrats win Derbyshire school election

Ripley youngsters have held a school election.
Ripley youngsters have held a school election.

Future David Camerons and would-be Nicola Sturgeons have taken part in a school election.

Youngsters at St John’s CE Primary School in Ripley held the event to coincide with the national poll, which saw the Conservatives narowly clinch power in a surprise result.

And while the Liberal Democrats suffered a miserable night – losing dozens of seats across the country – the party won the St John’s election.

As part of the two-week campaign, the pupils got into political groups, elected leaders and created manifestos with policies on education, their school and their community.

The manifestos included scrapping SATS exams for Key Stage 1 pupils, allowing pets in class and introducing a new pelican crossing opposite Ripley’s leisure centre.

The pupils campaigned in school, handing out leaflets and even holding a Question Times-style event, before the big vote took place.

At least one of the ideas thought up by the Liberal Democrats group will now be implemented in the school.

Chris Howarth, deputy headteacher, said: “We held this as a way of distracting year six from the pressures of SATS and to allow them to gain a greater understanding of how the Government of our country works.

“There was a real buzz about the school and the children showed that they understood more about how our country is a democracy.”

Scott Beighton, chair of governors, said: “The election has seen the children show how actively they are involved in their school and their community and how well they understand modern British values and our electoral system.”

Wendy Rose, headteacher, added: “The children’s passion to see their ideas evolve and shared with the school has amazed me.”

Visit for more information about St John’s CE Primary School.