This briefing provides background information on the ten topics that may be considered by Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) at the November's Westminster sitting.

On 13th November 2015 the House of Commons chamber will be filled with Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs)for the House of Commons’ sitting of the UK Youth Parliament.

The UK Youth Parliament’s sitting in the House of Commons marks the start of Parliament Week – an annual, UK-wide programme of events and activities designed to engage people with politics, Parliament and democracy.

What is the UK Youth Parliament?

The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. The UK Youth Parliament has over 360 seats for elected MYPs all aged 11-18.

MYPs are usually elected in annual youth elections throughout the UK. Any young person aged 11-18 can stand or vote. In the past two years one million young people have voted in UK Youth Parliament elections.

Once elected MYPs organise events and projects, run campaigns and influence decision makers on the issues which matter most to young people. All MYPs have the opportunity to meet once a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting.

What will the MYPs discuss?

Each year MYPs present the issues they were elected to campaign on. Those already in the manifesto are filtered out and others, making similar points, are combined.

The final list of manifesto policy motions goes forward to the online MYP vote to prioritise the issues they would like most to be debated at the Annual Sitting. This year the Annual Sitting was held in July at the University of Exeter

Manifesto motions are voted on at the Annual Sitting with speeches for each motion and an open floor debate. The top ten issues are prioritise and go forward to a national consultation though the Make Your Mark ballot.

Make your Mark ballot 2015

The following issues were on the Make you Mark ballot paper and voting ran from 12 August to 9 October.

  1. Votes at 16
  2. A Curriculum to prepare us for life
  3. Mental health
  4. Fund our youth services, don’t cut them
  5. Living Wage
  6. The end of austerity and child poverty
  7. Transport
  8. Climate Change
  9. Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish
  10. Extended Special Educational Needs support

The five issues to be debated

The five top issues from the ballot will be debated in the House of Commons, where MYPs vote for the two issues to be campaigned on during the following year.

The results of the Make your Mark ballot will be released on Friday 16 October 2015.

  • Commons Research Briefing CBP-7323
  • Authors: Douglas Pyper, Elena Ares, Elise Uberoi, Elizabeth Parkin, Feargal McGuinness, Gavin Berman, Isobel White, Louise Butcher, Manjit Gheera, Neil Johnston, Richard Cracknell, Robert Long, Shiro Ota, Steven Ayres, Steven Kennedy