We built up our work with schools and the community through Joint School Councils, Children’s Parliaments and an Area Wide Youth Parliament. The Joint School Councils and Children’s Parliaments were structures that provide children and young people with a joint voice to improve their school communities and create better links between schools across neighbourhoods and local areas. Representatives from the different primary and secondary schools worked together to address local issues that affected them all, through projects such as sexual health education and transition from primary to secondary school. The Area Wide Youth Parliament was an umbrella structure that supports the work of young people within the field of voice and influence work, providing networking structures and direct links to decision makers.

How it works!

  • Joint School Council
  • Elected members from the School Councils of local Secondary Schools meet regularly to form the Joint
  • School Council
  • Young people and school staff take part in School Council UK training that they can take back to their individual schools
  • Young people carry out projects to benefit young people in the school and wider community.
  • Children’s Parliament
  • Elected members of Primary School Councils meet with other primary schools within the feeder school clusters
  • Take part in training
  • Design and run projects together.
  • Area Wide Youth Parliament
  • Members are elected from young people’s groups throughout the community including Joint School Councils, Youth Forums and
  • specialist groups
  • At monthly meetings the elected members represent the group they are elected from and young people within the community
  • The young people take part in training and projects that target specific issues for all the groups such as public transport and votes at 16
  • Members have a direct link and work closely with decision makers including the local authority’s area panels through events and meetings.
  • What Children and Young People get
  • An understanding of how they can participate and influence decision making themselves
  • A structure that gives them direct
  • links to decision makers and senior teaching staff, organisations and community leaders
  • School Council UK Training
  • Advice from trained staff and other school councils
  • An active school council that is representative of the pupils in
  • the school
  • An opportunity to network and meet young people from groups they might not normally have contact with.
  • FUN!

What adults get

  • An effective school council that they can communicate with
  • A support structure of staff from other schools within the network
  • School Council UK training
  • A representative area wide structure that allows them to communicate with young people effectively

Outcomes

  • Participation of young people within schools increased
  • Increased ownership of school councils
  • An effective communication structure between young people and decision makers created
  • Greater community cohesion and reduction of barriers between children and young people from different schools and the community
  • Easier transitions from primary to secondary school
  • Contributes towards Citizenship and Extended School agendas.