Democracy Friendly Schools

Democracy Friendly Schools

Info for primary schools (ages 5 to 11)


We’re looking for schools in Kirklees who want to help our young citizens learn about (and participate in) local democracy at school.

In Summer to Autumn 2020, we will be gathering and sharing some great examples of things that our primary schools are already doing. We will also be working closely with two schools to share ideas about what makes a Democracy Friendly School. We then hope to open the programme to all schools from late 2020 to early 2021.

How we’ll help you to be Democracy Friendly

We’ll provide a menu of activities that you can choose from to use in your school and a flexible approach to involving young participants, to suit any school. By exploring things that schools are already doing (and would like to do) we’ll discover how we can best make our programme work for you. We know your time and resources are precious, so we’ll also be offering resources and support to help get you started.


What you can expect from us

  • Menu of activity options – you can choose from a selection of participatory activities to try out at your own pace. The options will include sessions in school, meeting your local councillors, meeting with young people from other participating schools, and projects in your community.
  • Ongoing support – you’ll be joining our network and we’re here to offer guidance and to connect you with others who can help.
  • Promotion – we’ll work with  you to share positive stories.
  • Award – You’ll be awarded Democracy Friendly School status on completing the programme.

What we expect from your school

  • An ongoing commitment – a Democracy Friendly School will support our young citizens to learn about (and participate in) local democracy, each year.
  • A main contact – please identify a member of your staff who will co-ordinate activities in school and keep in touch.
  • Gain consent – we’ll ask you to gain parental consent to support our storytelling activities – for example, consent for taking photographs and making video clips with some of your young participants. (This is essential for the pilot schools).
  • Leadership support – please confirm that your senior leadership team supports your expression of interest.
  • Invite councillors in – we’d like you to invite local councillors into your school as part of your activities (we’ll help with this).
  • Share feedback – we’ll ask you to tell us about your experience, and be part of photos and videos (This is essential for the pilot schools).

The benefits of taking part

The Democracy Friendly Schools programme is based on what we learned from over 1,700 children and young people in Kirklees, as part of our Growing a stronger youth council project. Participants said that Kirklees Youth Council should help young people to have voice and be a safe space where young people can speak up about what matters to them. The place where young people said they would feel safest taking part is at school.

Benefits for individuals and for schools include:

  • Learning about, and being part of, local democracy.
  • Confidence building.
  • Life skills.
  • Contributes to British Values learning.
  • Helps to grow relationships.
  • Connects your school with local organisations.

How to get involved

If you’d like to take part in our programme from the 2020-21 school year onwards, of if you’re already doing something in your school that you’d like to share, please fill in our expression of interest form.

Expression of interest – Democracy Friendly Schools

In the meantime, can your school community help to try out some creative activities to explore everyday democracy? We’ve been inspired by all the creative things young people have been doing during lockdown…

Everyday democracy – activities for schools

Our expression of interest will remain open – so you can register your interest at any time. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to find out more, please get in touch:

Contact Kirklees Youth Council

Kirklees Youth Council

We are Democracy Friendly