Discovering Democracy Awards


The Discovering Democracy Award is an award for secondary schools that create a positive culture of citizenship and democracy, and help develop youth participation in society. It is critically important that young people begin to engage with democracy from a young age, whether that is voting for their representatives on the school council or getting involved in social action campaigns. The award is funded by Cabinet Office and supported by HM Government. The award celebrates and shares the success of schools that go further in equipping their students with the skills and knowledge to play a full and active part in society, through high quality teaching, student voice and social action projects. The award is judged by a panel of young people and sector experts.

To apply for an award please first send an expression of interest to Jack.hansen@byc.org.uk

***We are currently not taking applications for the Discovering Democracy Award.***

Please scroll down for the online nomination form


The award is judged on four themes and against 11 specific criteria.

Voter registration

  • Schools provide the opportunity for students to register to vote.
  • Schools work collaboratively with the Local Authority registration service

Knowledge of democracy

  • Schools provide class time to develop pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. This could include running Rock Enrol! sessions.
  • Schools arrange guest speakers in classes, assemblies and extracurricular sessions. (MPs/Councillors/Campaigners/Activists)
  • Schools organise extracurricular democracy trips. This may include activities like meeting local councillors or MPs and trips to Parliament Education Service

Student participation

  • Students have an opportunity to take part in democracy through class, year or school councils.
  • School representative bodies are engaged in school management. For instance hiring of staff or involvement in governor meetings
  • Schools use new and innovative ways to engage students in democracy.

Student led social action

  • Students lead change in the school. For instance change to schools behaviour or dress code policies etc.
  • Students are involved in local, national or international social action campaigns including evidence of students using campaigning skills.
  • School takes part in the UK Youth parliaments elections and Mark Your Mark ballot

About your nomination

For a school to be considered for a Discovering Democracy Award, a teacher will need to fill out an application including a self assessed mark out of 5 for each criterion, a brief description of activities for at least 6 criteria, and a case study for at least three of the criteria.

First, give your school a mark out of 5 for the section, with one representing very little or no activity and 5 representing mutiple great activities. You will them need to write a brief description of the activities for each section. Complete at least three case studies of particular events or activities although you can complete more. You do not have to have done activities for each section to achieve an award as we are more focused on the quality of your activities. You will need to complete at least 6 sections to be considered for an award. You can write up to 150 words for each section of text.

The next deadline for applications is 30th November 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the FAQs before starting your nomination for an Award. Discovering Democracy Awards FAQs

If you have any questions please email jack.hansen@byc.org.uk


We will store the data you provide in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act

Nomination Form




Voter registration

Schools provide the opportunity for voter registration (including number and proportion of 16+ who had the opportunity)
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
Works collaboratively with the Local Authority registration service
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity



Knowledge of democracy

Schools provide class time to develop pupils’ understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. This could include running Rock Enrol! sessions.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
Schools arrange guest speakers in classes, assemblies and extracurricular sessions.(MPs/Councillors/Campaigners/Activists)
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
Schools organise extracurricular democracy trips.This may include activities like meeting local councillors or MPs and trips to parliament.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity



Student participation

Students have an opportunity to take part in democracy through class, year or school councils.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
School representative bodies are engaged in school management. For instance hiring of staff or involvement in governor meetings.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
School uses new and innovative ways to engage students in democracy
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity



Student led action

Student led change in the school. For instance change to school environment, behaviour or dress code policies.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
Students are involved in local, national or international social action campaigns including evidence of students using campaigning skills.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity
School takes part in the UK Youth parliament's elections and Make Your Mark ballot.
Achieved out of 5 (self assessed)
Brief description of activities
Case study of one particular event or activity

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