Pupils visit the council on school trip to gain insight into democracy

Oak Tree School visited the council civic centre building
Pupils from Oak Tree Primary School visited the council to learn more about democracy

Children from Oak Tree Primary School have visited the Civic Centre to learn more about the council in a jam-packed morning of activity today (11 January).

The eight students, all members of the School’s Parliament, met Mansfield Mayor Andy Abrahams, who discussed the elected role and what the children would do if elected.

Councillor Paul Henshaw, the ward representative for Oak Tree, then shared insight in to the role of a district councillor and the history surrounding the council’s coat of arms. The Elections Manager also discussed what an election is and how the vote is run every four years.

The activity concluded with the children meeting the council’s Community Safety Officers, who discussed their role in keeping residents on the estate safe and how they can make a difference in their community.

Elected Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Having these visits are really important because we want to get young people involved in democracy.

“With these sessions, we have been able to show the children how they can get involved in their communities and demonstrate that by being a councillor, they really can change people’s lives for the benefit of their friends, family, nearest and dearest in the community.”

The pupils, during their visit, also took the chance to sit in the council chamber to inform their fellow classmates what they would do in Mansfield if they became Mayor one day. Their suggestions ranged from building more hospitals and water fountains to encouraging more people to vote and making medicine cheaper. This was then followed by a tour of regalia the council has on display and the Mayor’s official office.

Headteacher for Oak Tree Lane Primary School Matthew Cumberlidge said: “We have had a brilliant opportunity to bring eight of our students here from our school parliament to learn a little bit more about the political process.

“We also had the chance to speak to Councillor Henshaw and Mayor Abrahams about how people can get into politics and the importance of voting and good choices.

“It’s been a fantastic morning, and I look forward to going back to school and finding out what comes next with our children learning about democracy.”

The eight pupils were a mixture of year five and six class groups.

Councillor Paul Henshaw, a district councillor for Oak Tree ward, added: “I was very pleased to welcome the pupils and staff from the primary school to the Civic Centre.

“Hopefully, they will take some of the information they have learnt today away with them and understand more about how local government works in Mansfield.

“The pupils that have come have been fantastic and have done the school very proud.”

Published: January 11th 2023