Each year, usually on the Monday following the July sitting of Tynwald in Douglas, representatives of the Island's Secondary schools are invited to try being Members of Tynwald for a morning.
Preparation for the event begins following the Easter break when two schools, on rotation, are invited to submit a choice of motions to be debated at the sitting. These motions are, like all motions, reviewed by a parliamentary clerk to check the format and terminology. The Executive Committee of the Isle of Man Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, who support the event, then select two of the motions proposed to be debated at the Junior Tynwald sitting.
All schools then have the opportunity to submit three questions which will be answered by current Tynwald Members during the Junior Tynwald sitting. The questions submitted are treated in the same way as regular Tynwald or House of Keys questions. They are reviewed by a parliamentary clerk who checks the format and terminology. They are then sent to the relevent Isle of Man Government department to provide information which will assist Member answering the question.
Each school may send up to six Junior Tynwald Members plus a reporter, who will be assigned to work with either Manx Radio or Isle of Man Newspapers to produce a report of the day which is usually broadcast or printed. Other students are also welcome as observers, although numbers are limited due to space restrictions in the Chamber.
Junior Tynwald - Sitting Day
On the day of the sitting the Junior Tynwald Members, reports and observers are given a tour of the building before commencing the sitting in the Tynwald Chamber at 10.30. the sitting begins with Question Time which lasts for around an hour. The Junior Tynwald Members hear the answers to the questions and any Member may ask supplementary questions.
Following Question Time the motions submitted by two schools are debated. Each school should have a Junior Tynwald Member ready to move the motion, that is speak about the topic and why they think it is important. The motion should then be seconded by another Junior Tynwald Member who may speak about it, or choose to 'reserve their remarks', so they may listen to others and then speak later. Each Member may only speak once on any motion apart from the mover who is invited by The President to speak again at the end of the debate. This is an opportunity to sum up, answer any questions posed during the debate and persuade other Junior Tynwald Members vote in favour.
After the sitting a buffet lunch is provided where students have the opportunity to talk to Tynwald Members.