Five Vale of Glamorgan secondary schools recently sent school council members and staff to attend the annual Pupil Voice conference.
Held at Barry’s Memorial Hall in late March, the conference began with council members providing feedback to pupils on the latest school council audit.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council holds an audit of all school councils on a bi-annual basis to ascertain compliance with Welsh Government regulations regarding school councils, and to encourage good practice.
On the day, pupils also had the opportunity to learn about children’s rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), when a presentation was delivered by the Vale Rights Ambassadors to outline some of the 42 rights all children and young people in the world possess.
Following this, the young attendees were updated on what the Vale Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor have been doing recently, and then went on to learn about how they will be impacted by Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) 2015 Act, which aims to encourage residents to work together, look at the long-term (as well as focus on the now), and take action to prevent life’s problems escalating.
Andrew Borsden, Lead Officer of Social Inclusion and Well-being for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “This type of event is vital, as it provides pupils in the Vale with the chance to have a say on matters that affect them.
“By engaging with our young residents, we enable them to become more aware of their rights, inform them on matters that will impact them in the future, and give them the platform to voice their thoughts.
“For instance, pupils had the opportunity at this event to discuss their opinions with Council officers about how the Vale should implement their well-being action plan.”
The Vale Youth Service facilitates young people’s involvement in local, national and international democratic processes, whilst also providing training to children, young people and professionals about participation, pupil voice and the UNCRC.