Youngsters are today taking part in their own election with a mock vote.
The pupils at Roseberry Primary School are having their say at the same time as the country goes to the polls.
Having deliberated over the last few weeks, they are casting their vote.
For weeks leading up to election day, the whole of the Billingham school has been divided into parties, devoting time into researching, debating and campaigning.
Sally Atkinson, MFL Lead, said: “We have been giving the children the opportunity to represent different political parties, which they drew out of a hat.
“This has helped to further their understanding of the different manifestos and the power of persuasion. It also gives them the opportunity to look for the good in everything.”
The children are invited to register to vote, and post their vote at the mock polling station using ballot boxes set up within the school to reflect the UK’s voting system.
Headteacher Maggie Fearnley said: “We decided to carry out the mock general election throughout the whole of the school to demonstrate the process of voting to prepare the children for their future.
“To educate the children at such a young age provides them with the knowledge and experience in making a well informed decision – that will not only help for the future general elections but any large decisions they need to take in their lifetime.”
Roseberry pupil Liam, aged 7, said he didn’t know anything about the general election prior to the activities, now he understands the importance of voting.
Jennifer, aged 10, said: “It’s really important to vote because people have worked so hard to give us the option.”
Fellow school pupils Brandon and Ruby, aged 9, said: “If you don’t vote someone who you don’t agree with could be in charge and you might not be happy with the decision.”
Linda Hollinshead, assistant headteacher, added: “Giving our children the chance to give their opinion as well as understand the process is such a valuable opportunity. It’s been great to hear the children’s debates and views.”
This is not the first-time the children have played a part in politics, they staged a mock vote on the EU Referendum last year.