Academy students make their ‘vote’

Bede students Anna Smith, 17, of Blyth and Sarah Jane Perry, 17, of Choppington, cast their votes.
Bede students Anna Smith, 17, of Blyth and Sarah Jane Perry, 17, of Choppington, cast their votes.
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Politically-minded students at a Northumberland academy just 60 miles from the Scottish border have had their say on the independence referendum – and voted ‘no’.

More than 1,000 students at Bede Academy in Blyth were given the opportunity to voice their opinions on whether Scotland should gain its independence or remain part of the UK in a school ballot.

And as Scotland voted ‘no’ to independence on Friday, so too did the academy’s pupils.

Both sides of the debate were represented during two days of school assemblies by students Lauren Moffett, presenting the case for a ‘Yes’ vote, and Matthew Butcher, fronting the opposing ‘No’ campaign.

Principal Gwyneth Evans said: “Any referendum is rare so it is important that our students have the opportunity to understand exactly what the voting process means and the importance and privilege of democracy.

“It is also important that we help them to become active citizens and have a voice in political decisions that will affect them in the future by ensuring that they understand the issues raised and have a balanced point of view in their decision making.”

The result of the student vote was announced by Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell, who confirmed 751 votes for the ‘No’ campaign against 282 for Scottish independence.

“It was a great pleasure to be invited to be part of Bede Academy’s independence vote and I was immensely pleased with the outcome of their ballot,” said Mr Campbell.