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Gumley House School FCJ

‘Under 18 – Do I Count?’ Gumley conference debating lowering the UK voting age to 16

240 Sixth Form Students from 4 Schools.

Another important discussion addressing the participation of younger people in the political process.

Economist, Julian Jessop says: “It was great to contribute to such a lively event where the young people played their full part. I was particularly impressed by the willingness of the voters of tomorrow to get stuck into the big political issues of today.”

Ruth Cadbury MP stated: “I was pleased to be able to explain why I support lowering the right to vote to 16 and the importance of engaging with MPs; and to answer the challenging questions on this and other issues that matter to local 6th formers”.

Working in partnership with TEAMGlobal, an education charity, we share their mission to: ‘Promote an understanding and discussion of world affairs’.

We would like to thank all of our speakers for their insightful contribution, equipping students with a 360 degree view of the case for & against lowering the UK voting age.

  • Jon Narcross, The Electoral Reform Society: Topic: Young people leading the way – the case for votes at 16’
  • Ruth Cadbury MP: Topic: ‘Labour’s position on and substantiation for lowering the voting age’
  • Julian Jessop, The Institute of Economic Affairs: Topic: ’Why young people should care about politics’
  • Zarina Bell-Gam & Jesse Williams of Debate Mate: Topics: Zarina: ‘This House would maintain the voting age of 18’ with Jesse taking the opposing position of: ‘This House would lower the voting age to 16’.
Jon Narcross, Electoral Reform Society
Ruth Cadbury MP
Jullian Jessop

Conference Moderators:

  • We were thrilled to have Michael Johnson’s superb moderating skills, as he smoothly directed students’ questions & challenges to the speakers. Michael is an international trade policy expert with a 35-year career as a UK Government official specialising in trade administration, bilateral & multilateral negotiations and training. He has advised governments of over 20 countries on how to formulate negotiating positions for the purpose of accession to & implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements.
  • Additionally, Lucy Russell from Debate Mate brilliantly moderated her organisation’s session with Zarina & Jesse.
Debate Mate's Zarina Bell-Gam & Jessie Williams take opposing positions on the topic, moderated by Lucy Russell

TEAMGlobal’s contribution enables these diverse discussions that challenge and inform our young people.

  • Since launching ‘The Gumley Conference’ in 2013, topics we have addressed include:
    Ethics in a Globalised Society', ‘Britain’s role in the EU’, ‘Fake News’ and ‘Climate Change’.
  • Special thanks to: John Wilson, Laurence Smy, Kevin McSharry & Antony Frost
Plenary Session with The IEA, Electoral Reform Society and Debate Mate

We are very grateful to The Economist for once again, so generously contributing copies of its publication for all our student delegates.  

Joining Gumley’s students, we were delighted to welcome students & teaching staff from:
Brentford School for Girls, Isleworth & Syon School and Maria Fidelis FCJ School.

All demonstrated their considerable aptitude in evaluating the issues as well as in presenting their views & questions to the speakers.

Students Speak Up

What students had to say:

  •  “It deepened my understanding of the political world, and our rights”
  • “It allowed me to explore the arguments for & against”
  •  “Informative speakers, nice balance of opinions”
  • “Good to have first-hand political understanding”
  •  “Lots of audience participation which gave us a voice”
  • “It was thought provoking”  
  • “All the contributors were influential and informative which helped me gain a better perspective”
  • ”I can better evaluate this issue now”
  • “The speakers considered our questions and answered them clearly”
  •  “Interactive conference which included diverse views and very good, thought-provoking questions from the audience”
  • “I gained a good political understanding of the subject”
  •  “I was not for lowering the voting age, but today’s talk changed my opinion”
  • “The speakers were truly excellent, an informative, engaging and educational conference”
  • “It covered current political considerations which specifically involve us”
Students Speak Up
Intently listening & making notes
Students Speak Up
Students Speak Up
Students Speak Up
Plenary Session with The IEA, Electoral Reform Society and Debate Mate
Ruth Cadbury MP & Jon Narcross answering students' questions