STUDENTS at a North-East school joined millions in voting by staging their own polls alongside the general election.

Pupils at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, have been studying UK politics as part of their Life Skills curriculum, which ensures they have an understanding of important areas outside the core subject areas.

They then cast their votes for one of the candidates standing for parliament in Darlington.

The majority of students voted for Jenny Chapman, who stood as the town’s Labour candidate, but lost her seat to Conservative Peter Gibson in the real public vote.

Assistant principal Judith Bailey said: “We show the students that while their GCSEs are like their ‘passport’ to opportunities in life, they also need a toolkit of skills to make the most of those opportunities.

“Their Life Skills classes focus on things like politics, British values, good citizenship, relationship and sex education, careers, and finance management.”

Freya Lewis, also in Year 7, said: “I’ve decided to vote for the Green Party, because the environment is dying, and we need to protect it.”

Mrs Bailey said: “The children now have a much stronger understanding of not just the political issues under debate, but also the whole mechanism of government. Most importantly, we want them to understand why their vote matters.

“We’re very grateful to all the political parties in Darlington, which have all helped us with materials and support for these lessons. The students have looked at several different sources, and we’ve encouraged them to consider all the information available to them when deciding how to vote.”