Young people across the borough have taken over Sefton Council for the day!
The activities were organised as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge 2015.
Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which puts children and young people into decision-making roles. Organisations and businesses benefit as they gain a fresh insight into their work by listening to children’s ideas and experience.
Six students from Savio High School spent the day shadowing Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, Director of Social Services and Health and Mike McSorley, Head of Schools and Families.
The students attended a Liverpool City Region meeting, met the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and School Forum agenda and had a walkabout in the Litherland/Ford area with councillors Paulette Lappin, Ian Moncur and Kevin McCluskey. This included a visit to Litherland Moss Children’s Centre.
Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, said: “It was great to involved in the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day giving young people from Sefton the chance to see some of the work that takes place across the borough.
“By spending a day within the organisation, the students got to understand more about the work that goes on at Sefton Council and it was also a chance for me personally to gauge their views on how we operate.
“Overall it was a great success and something we will look to do again in the future.”
Charlotte Jones, a Year 11 pupil at Savio High School, said: “I really enjoyed the experience. It was great that we were able to contribute to the meeting we attended and that nothing was changed because we were there. There wasn’t a single point in time when they didn’t make us feel that like we were not making a valuable contribution to the meeting.
“All in all this day has shown me the kinds of skills these people use in their day-to-day work life. They’ve shown me that it is important to have the skills of perseverance and patience and that it is important to respect others and listen to their opinions.”
Owen Morgan, another Year 11 pupil, added: “It was great to spend the day shadowing Sefton Council executives. The meetings I attended were very interesting and it was good to be able to contribute to the discussions and voice our opinions on issues which affect us all.
“We also joined a local councillor on a ward visit which I found to be very enjoyable as it gave us a taste of the projects and causes that Sefton Council supports in the local community.”
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, added: “We can all benefit from getting involved in Takeover Challenge. Children and young people bring fresh ideas, imagination and energy to the roles they take over, and they challenge stereotypes about them that we hear too often.
“Takeover Challenge gets people to work differently and helps individuals and organisations to understand the needs of children and young people.”
Takeover has grown year on year – in 2014 over 44,000 children and 1,200 organisations took part. Children and young people stepped into the shoes of hundreds of high profile figures including: MP’s, mayors, TV presenters, teachers, chief executives, senior police officers and other professionals in all walks of life.
To find out more about Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge visitwww.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/takeover-challenge.
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