For the first time, a Ponteland High School student has been elected to be a representative for Northumberland in the British Youth Parliament.
Ben Guadagno gained a total of more than 1,000, meaning that around half of those who voted for him were students in other schools as all pupils in Northumberland from Year 9 to Year 13 were eligible to vote.
His election followed a week of canvassing and campaigning by the school’s three candidates – the other two were Kieron Gibson and Natalie Edge.
He will be in office for two years, initially as a deputy member of the youth parliament and then as a full member (MYP).
The post involves liaising with other MYPs across the country and co-ordinating the campaigns voted for by young people across the UK.
Ben, a sixth former, stood on a platform of ‘putting the concerns of young people first’ at its heart.
As well as wanting to lower the voting age to 16 or 17 in certain circumstances, he also wants to campaign for the recognition of issues such as tuition fees, the plight of young carers and the mental health of all students.
Ponteland High School headteacher Kieran McGrane said he has ‘no doubt that Ben will make a positive impact in his new role’.