Exactly four weeks before the real General Election, Eltham College Sixth Form students discussed the key issues in a lively debate on Thursday 11 May in the Chapel. Run entirely by the students and chaired smoothly by Tom Hood, the meeting featured speeches and contributions from the four main parties and was attended by around 75 students from all sections of the Senior School.
The main speakers, Harry Joseph (Conservative), Sophie Butcher (Labour), Harry Higginson (Liberal Democrats) and Conor Mallone (UKIP) all spoke persuasively for their parties and answered questions from Tom Hood and the audience on economic, foreign (including Brexit) and social policy. The candidates and many of the questioners were well prepared and informed on the key issues, as were the other party representatives Ben Dines (Con), Chris Small (Lib Dem) and George Jackson (UKIP).
On the evidence of this debate, sixteen-year-olds should certainly be given the vote, as they are at least as knowledgeable as those aged 18 and over. A show of hands indicated more support for the Lib Dems and UKIP than for the two main parties, but all those taking part can be proud of their efforts.