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Herts1125 Vote 2016
Hertfordshire County Council Youth Connexions enables young people across the county to take part in their annual vote for the top issues and for the representatives who will campaign for change.
Candidates set out their manifestos online and canvass in schools, colleges and youth projects during December and January; this year voting took place in late January and early February. Whilst voting for their Member of Youth Parliament, young people aged 11-18 also voted for their top priorities.
The top 5 issues will now form the Herts1125 Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto 2016/17, and are:
Bullying; all forms of bullying (verbal, physical, cyber, etc.) should be treated equally and support should be available when required for victims of bullying.
Body confidence and self-image; impact of social media trends, recognising the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and self-harm.
Equality in Herts: Equal rights should be promoted and discrimination actively tackled.
Access to health services; all young people should know their rights regarding confidentiality, support and access for both mental health and physical health services.
Full information about the manifesto and detailed reports are on the Youth Connexions website:
Alongside the Herts1125 priority vote, young people across Hertfordshire also voted for their Member of Youth Parliament (MYP). Each elected MYP will represent one of the ten districts for the year, until February 2017. The successful candidates were announced at County Hall on Saturday 27th February by County Councillor Richard Roberts, Executive Member for Children’s Services and can be found on:
A short case study of how Lymm High School benefits from a school council that has been running for over two years and engages pupils with "real democracy in action".
Impact and Outcomes commissioned by Carnegie Young People Initiative and published in May 2006examines the results of involving young people in school and college decision making and reviewing 75 case studies.
The University of Birmingham's Centre for International Education and Research, which carried out the study said participation improved academic performance and behaviour. It also increased self-esteem, communication skills and levels of citizenship outside school. Lynn Davies, professor of international education is the author of the report. More details at:
The Participation, Consultation and Involvement Toolkit provides comprehensive information on how to involve children and young people in shaping their educational experience. Below are some examples from Appendix 7 of the toolkit- Involving pupils in Teaching and Learning.
Some examples we'd like to share include:
A Case Study on how to Evaluate Pupil Participation at a Secondary School
Making your School Council Effective
Save the Children: Developing a Model for Student Participation in an Education Support Centre
University of Cambridge: Developing Primary and Secondary Aged Researchers
Appendix 7.1 Involving Primary Aged Children in Teaching and Learning
Appendix 7.2 Circle Time
Appendix 7.3 ESC Model
Children and young people attend school every day and know exactly what is needed for positive change, so they should be encouraged to participate in any transformation or change programme in schools. Participation means they should have an active and meaningful involvement in decisions that affect them.
This toolkit explores how best to involve children and young people in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, with ideas for pupil involvement in design and technology as well as strategy. However the ideas in the toolkit are not exclusive to BSF, and can be applied to any transformation or change programme involving the participation of children and young people.
Why is participation important, key principles, approaches, roles and responsibilities and useful websites
Why is Participation Important?
Key Principles and Values of Participation
Involving Children and Young People
Roles and Responsibilities
Useful Websites and References
Appendix 1 - Hertfordshire Framework for Involvement
Examples of projects involving children and young people's participation
Case Study 1 - The Sorrell Approach
Case Study 2 - Marriotts School
Case Study 3 - Discover Children's Centre
Ways of involving children and young people in participation.
Surveys and Questionnaires
Challenging perceptions of schools councils in the primary school, an article by by Sue Cox and Anna Robinson-Pant is well worth reading. Published in, Education 3-13, Volume 33 Number 2 June 2005 it explains how school councils have been set up in primary schools based on adult models of democratic committees. This article looks at children's and teachers' perspectives on their school councils and goes on to analyse the ways in which alternative strategies for addressing the constraints identified were developed in three Norfolk primary schools. Part of the authors' conclusion is how they learned about the need to look more critically at how school councils are introduced in the context of citizenship education. Both the authors are lecturers at the University of East Anglia.
A pilot project with four schools from disadvantaged areas of Hertfordshire took place in the autumn term, to look at ways to enable children and young people to be involved in evaluating education and making decisions. The project also looked at developing the skills of teachers and students to lead decision-informing research.
The pilot was a collaborative project between Cambridge University, Save the Children UK and Hertfordshire County Council.
Teachers from the four participating schools - Westfield Community Technology College, Chessbrook Education Support Centre, Holdbrook Primary School and Greenside School - were helped to evaluate the effectiveness of participation practice within each of their schools. They attended training sessions, and were accredited with a Certificate for Further Professional Studies by Cambridge University.
The training sessions covered the background to participation, research methodologies and ethics. Having undergone their own training, the teachers trained carefully selected pupil researchers, who then went on to train other pupils. This ensured that the schools involved were able to continue to develop and build on practices set up during the pilot.
Pupils developed many new skills and made key decisions about their research subjects. The data gathered was collated and presented, and provided valuable information about issues pertinent to young people, which the schools have been encouraged to use to inform their school development plans.
The pupils involved were very positive about the experience; they felt that it boosted their confidence, whilst also giving them a new insight into how the school functions.