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Taking steps towards a more inclusive education system

From 29 January-4 February, schools and youth organisations across Scotland will participate in Welcome to Your Vote Week 2024.

Catherine Heggie, Senior Communications & Engagement Officer at the Electoral Commission, explains how to get involved.

Young people who receive democratic education at school or in a youth group setting are more likely to participate in elections and believe that their vote matters.

To support schools, youth groups, colleges and universities to start the conversation about democracy, we’ve created free, impartial resources, and we’re encouraging anyone who works with young people to get involved during Welcome to Your Vote Week.

The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Your Voice Matters’, celebrating that everyone can make an impact on the issues important to them by getting involved in democracy, whether through voting in elections, taking part in a school council or campaigning on an issue that matters to them.

Our year-round education resources are available to support you to get involved. These include a series of lesson plans, tailored to the curriculum and wider outcomes, such as the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award and Sustainable Development Goals, interactive activities, quizzes and videos.

This year we’ve also launched new resources to help schools and youth organisations organise a real, issue-based vote, to provide opportunities for young people to use their voices and see democracy in action.

This could be a smaller-scale vote within a class, year group or youth group, or across a whole school or organisation. The topic of the vote could be anything from which charity to donate funds to, where to visit on a school or youth group trip, or a change in uniform policy. The key is that you commit to the outcome of the vote, so that the young people can see the impact their voices have made.

Whether you choose to get involved by organising a vote, running lessons or interactive activities, or something completely different, let us know what you get up to on social media using #WelcomeToYourVote.

Click here to find out more about Welcome to Your Vote Week and sign up to receive your free resources

About the author

Catherine Heggie, Senior Communications & Engagement Officer at the Electoral Commission

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