MORE politics on the school curriculum, a lower voting age, voting by internet and a referendum on Welsh independence are all measures advocated by Plaid leader, Leanne Wood, to get young people more engaged with politics.

The AM for Rhondda visited two Pembrokeshire schools last Thursday to talk to sixth formers and canvas their views in a ballot exercise.

The Western Telegraph caught up with her at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, where the pupils’ overriding concerns centred around future impacts of Britain’s decision to leave the EU while other students voiced worries about affordable housing.

“They were a very intelligent group of young people,” said Ms Wood. “They don’t have much politics input in school but are clearly well-informed. The questions were very mature and very intelligent.”

She said more politics should be taught in school, giving the Scottish education system as an example.

“People are asked to make big decisions. If you are not given the proper information you can’t make decisions that are in your best interest. The more information that is given and shared with people the better,” she said.

“If people have the confidence that their knowledge is as good as anyone else’s that there are no right or wrong answers it has to give them the confidence to get involved more.

“They do it very well in other countries and I think we could learn from others.”

Her views were echoed by Ysgol-y-Preseli head teacher Michael Davies, who said that changes to the Welsh Bac meant less politics was being taught.

Ms Wood added that the voting age should be lowered, again citing the example of Scotland, whose voting 16 and 17-year-olds “the most well-researched, well-informed group of the whole of the electorate”.

Voting should also be accessible online in order to maximise engagement.

“I think we need to make it easy as possible for people, she said. “If we can make banking secure on line I’m pretty sure we can make voting secure on line. I’d be up for anything like that, those are the kinds of initiatives which makes young people more likely to participate.”

And maximum participation could be key; if Scotland votes and leaves the UK then Ms Wood said she will push for a referendum on Welsh independence.

“If we are to shape our future in a positive way we have to be prepared to make more decisions for ourselves,” she said.

“If the UK ceases to exist and if Scotland votes to leave the UK then we in Wales should have a decision to take about our constitutional future as well and, under those circumstances, I think all options should be on the table including the option of independence for Wales.”

After her visit to Ysgol y Preseli Ms Wood went on to talk to students at Greenhill School, Tenby. She aid she would take the information on the students’ ballot papers and use it to inform future discussions.

“If I can say I have spoken to a thousand young people around the country and this is their view then it should make a difference,” she said.