Jay Williams is the New Student Principal

Students at The Co-operative Academy went to the polls to choose their new ‘Student Principal’.

Candidates had been campaigning for their fellow students’ votes for over two weeks and on May 7th the hall was converted into a polling station, for the day. Vision, Progress and Tomorrow, the three parties in the election, put forward their leader for election.

Winning candidate, and new Student Principal, Jay Williams said “I can’t deny that I was worried about the vote. We had made a lot of promises to students and staff and they were putting their support behind us. I was nervous because I didn’t want to let those people down. Thankfully, Progress won – and now the hard work begins for the next twelve months.”

Head of Student Voice, Miss Cunningham said: “It’s not just the students they needed to convince; it was the staff as well. So it creates a very accurate dynamic similar to the real-world politics of today.

“They had two different demographics to appeal to and finding that balance is what made the election so unpredictable. The three parties were very professional and they’ve been learning the important skills to survive the challenge.”

Manifestos had been written and presented by the three candidates, Linda Jerate, Michael Cunningham and Jay Williams. A live debate took place the day before the election, where all three candidates were grilled on their policies.

Principal Nick Lowry said “Our core values are equality, responsibility and respect and those are just as important in a general election. All of the students involved made sure they spread those values through their manifestos, through their speeches and through their interactions with voters at break-times, lunch-times and even during lessons.

“We wanted to give these students a real concept of how politics works and how important it is to vote if you want your voice to be heard.”

The winning candidate will sit on the academy’s student council, which is made up of students from various years who represent their peers to propose changes to the Principal and senior leadership team.

Tomorrow candidate, Linda Jerate, said “It was really exciting to be involved, politics can seem confusing at times but this election has brought some clarity. We’ve had the chance to get around and speak to all the voters, putting our points across and answering questions.

“It wasn’t just about Election Day; it’s about the next twelve months. Students want a real representative who will work with the Principal to push through all the promises made in our manifesto. Hopefully all the students can work together to support Jay in his new role.”

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