WITH the approach of the General Election, Stroud High School sixth form welcomed Stroud's five parliamentary candidates to the school.

Over 280 young people listened to the debate with questions ranging from trust in politicians, voting systems as well as funding in social care and education.

The whole school engaged in mock hustings in assemblies last week with sixth form students representing the parties standing in the election in Stroud. Students from Y7 to 13 will vote this week along with the whole constituency.

Politics teacher Katy Ivey said: “The whole school community has geared up for the election.

"We need young people to feel properly involved in the political process, not just an add on. We have given all the students information about the election process and what the candidates stand for.”

On Thursday, December 6, the school hosted the BBC Radio Gloucestershire hustings.

Stroud High Sixth Formers who will be voting in Stroud for the first time made up part of the audience, including Bethany McCartney Dodd who said: "The hustings were simply invigorating. The political tension in the air was almost palpable and, as a first time voter, it was amazing to see each candidate in action - so that I could question my previously-concrete beliefs.

"I felt so connected to the political climate of Stroud and was struck by how proud we should be as a constituency where 3/5 of the election candidates are articulate women."