WATCH: What pupils think about the election and Brexit

Schoolchildren “embarrassed and a bit frustrated” by politics in 2019

Catherine Lough, Claudia Civinini and Amy Gibbons

polling station

Ever wondered what politics would look like if schoolchildren were allowed to vote?

Tes has been talking to pupils across the country about their feelings on the upcoming general election.

We asked them what they knew about the election, what they thought about the major party leaders and their views on Brexit.

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First of all, Tes asked what was happening on 12 December. Some pupils thought this might be the “Brexit deadline” yet others knew this was the election date.

As one primary pupil mimicked former Commons speaker John Bercow, saying – “unlock!” – it was clear that this turbulent period in politics has had a significant impact on the very young. Pupils were also aware of political parties, such as Labour, Conservative, Lib Dems and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Brexit Party. However, many also mentioned the Green Party, too.

We also asked pupils of all ages what they thought of the party leaders. One of the youngest interviewees thought Boris Johnson “looks like a mini Donald Trump”, while some of the older students said they felt “embarrassed and a bit frustrated” by the political climate in general.

Lastly, we asked pupils about their views on Brexit – and, crucially, what they’d do if they were the prime minister.

While primary school pupils seemed to be quite tired of Brexit, their older counterparts emphasised how the topic has divided the country. "I don’t agree with Brexit. It’s literally tearing the country apart,” one pupil said.

The children also had quite clear ideas of what they’d do if they were prime minister. One primary pupil said she would give people another chance to vote, including younger people, while older students said they’d focus on issues that have been left in the dark by a constant focus on Brexit.

“I’d try to sort out the Brexit thing first and then go on to the environment,” a secondary school pupil said. While another, who mentioned the NHS, said: "This country has so many other things to deal with."

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Catherine Lough, Claudia Civinini and Amy Gibbons

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