On Friday, Plymouth Moor View MP, Johnny Mercer, was a panellist at the Plymouth Youth Council meeting in the City Council Chamber. He was part of a panel facing questions from up to 120 school children from across Plymouth who were all members of their School Council.
School Councillors are elected from amongst their own school community and meet together four times a year to help ensure city policy and decision makers are aware of the views of children and young people. Their meetings model the democratic process and the young people set their own agenda for each meeting.
At the latest meeting of Plymouth School Councillors, a panel debate made up of local Councillors and Johnny Mercer MP, took questions on a wide range of topics. The event also provided the children and young people to meet with the panelists in an informal setting. In the morning, the School Councillors heard from a University medical student who was speaking about the pathway to studying medicine and the decision students should be making about the subjects they want to study.
Speaking after the event, Johnny said:
‘I really enjoyed meeting all the School Councillors at the event on Friday.
‘School Council’s play a really valuable role in the education of our children. It causes them to begin engaging with the democratic process and enables them to discuss and debate a range of topics. These meetings also ensure that the voice of children and young people is heard by key decision makers as they meet with different representatives throughout the year.
‘I would encourage all schools in Plymouth to develop a School Council as it provides such a great opportunity to begin educating children and young people about the importance of their collective voice and the opportunities they can have to impact the city around them.’
Through discussion, debate and voting, School Councillors make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in their school, their local community and the City as a whole. The age range of School Councillors is from seven to fifteen years of age.
School Councillors represent the views of their peers at school; invigorating the way individual school councils engage with their electorate, contributing and strengthening pupil voice and representation as a whole.