On Friday this week, local primary schools were invited to send four pupils to the Mayoral Primary debate in the Council Chamber at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council offices.
Led by Cllr Roger Dalton, the debate focused on two topics: Should children be allowed to use the internet unsupervised and should unhealthy snacks be banned from school?
Ultimately the debate consensus was that the internet should be available to all, unsupervised, but with the caveat that all children should be supported with information about safety, be taught about the pitfalls and dangers of the internet and understand that they always have someone they can turn to, to discuss, highlight or report concerns. Unhealthy snacks should not be banned in school but agreement was reached that pupils should be educated about healthy eating and exercise. The primary council agreed that, in moderation, and with an understanding of how snacks impact on their health, children should learn to regulate their own intake to allow them to take this healthy habit forward into adolescence and adulthood.
Many congratulations to Alex, Liam, Jamie and Maddie who all took the opportunity to speak up, in front of their peers, and debate the pros and cons of each topic. They agreed that they were nervous to participate but were really pleased to have the chance to take part in such a big event, using microphones to ensure they could be heard, presenting their own thoughts and opinions on such important subjects.