Priority Two: Political Engagement


Articles and Resources

Developing a London-wide cross sector collaboration on political engagement

  • ‘In the 2015 General Election, 18 to 21 year olds had turnout rate of around 40%, while those aged 65+ were almost double this
  • There are over 1.5m 16 and 17 year olds in the UK denied the vote.
  • Nearly three quarters of the 6.8m young people in the UK registered to vote in the 2015 General election – 14% more than in 2010.
  • Young people are increasingly likely to participate in new forms of informal politics, often based on single issues and facilitated by the internet.’ Young People Count 2016

Political Literacy: An End to Apathy? It has been an incredible time for politics. Pre-2016, we had the first coalition government to grace No.10 since the Second World War; we have witnessed the utter obliteration of the third largest party in the UK, the Liberal Democrats who, in 2015, shrank into irrelevance. We also witnessed the resurgence of the great left and right debate with the growth or right-wing movements like UKIP and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn

This year, Shout Out UK launched their political literacy course to local schools in order to better educate young people in politics and encourage a longstanding interest and understanding in politics. Find out more here



Brexit will change young people’s lives

  • Young people’s engagement in power is essential but often their voices and views are missing
  • Young people are not being taught to debate and politics are often not seen as being about day to day life
  • Young people need to challenge economic norms that affect them
  • Young people don’t see people in politics like them
  • Citizenship education can be too theoretical and not applied, it can also be downgraded and not taught effectively


  • To have a London Youth Mayor in place for the region
  • To embed political education in the London Curriculum and link this to votes at 16 for a London Youth Mayor
  • To create a regional framework where we increase young people’s ability to debate, their critical thinking, political literacy and confidence
  • To have youth representatives on the Mayor’s Brexit panel
  • To have the Mayor to champion and convene this, with a London Youth Mayor


  • An agreed start in primary schools across the region, with citizenship education to be practical and tested with diverse groups of young people
  • A dedicated expert pool of citizenship teachers across the region
  • Collaboration around political engagement across the region with other partners i.e. Bite the Ballot. Resources for voter registration and British Youth Council, My Life My Say, YLPN, London Youth and other partners.
  • Peer to peer education using existing structures, making politics relevant to young people
  • Outreach and engagement with wider groups i.e. football clubs to host debates
  • Engagement of the Digital Sector to support London-wide campaigns

The ask for the GLA 

  • To put in place a structure for a youth mayor supported by votes at 16.
  • To embed political education in the London Curriculum and link this to votes at 16 for a London Youth Mayor

Next meeting

Action points from the meeting 15.06.2017

Action points from the meeting 08.11.17

For more information or to sign up to be part of the steering group for this priority please contact