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Ministers praise Jersey's School Council Network

11 December 2019

The Ministers for Children and Education have congratulated Jersey’s School Council Network for their involvement in the Putting Children First campaign.

The School Council Network, which is made up of primary and secondary schools across the Island, were consulted in the Great Hall at Highlands College, ahead of the launch of the Putting Children First campaign.

More than 800 Islanders have now pledged their support to Putting Children First since the launch of the campaign on World Children’s Day three weeks ago.

Putting Children First

The children who attended the School Council Network meeting in October, ahead of the launch, approved the logo design and said that it was “exciting”, “young” and “fun” and showed that “children are number one” in Jersey.

Jersey’s School Council Network was created following a recommendation made by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and involves many of the Island’s individual school councils gathering together six times a year to collaborate, communicate and have a conversation together. They also have a section on their agenda for anyone, including Government officials, organisations, States Members who would like to consult them on a project and to seek their feedback.

The majority of the feedback from the students on the Putting Children First campaign was to include “images of children” in the design and that it needed to show equality and diversity. They also said that all schools and children in Jersey should be informed about the campaign to understand what it means to Put Children First.

When asked what they thought Putting Children First meant, some of the students said:

  • “Parents could put their phones down when with their children
  • “Save children first in an accident”
  • “Have less homework and more play”
  • “Keeping us safe and healthy”.

Following the launch of the campaign, a number of the children the School Council Network have spoken about how they felt to be part of the campaign.

Ella-May (9), of Les Landes School, said: “It was nice to be part of something that has been made.”

Joss (10), of Les Landes School, said: “I’m really happy to be part of something that will help people and to be included.”

Malika (10), of Les Landes School, said: “It felt good to be included and it looks really nice.”

Ben (10), of St Saviour’s School, said: “I felt very involved and enjoyed it.”

Kingsley (11) of St Saviour’s School, said: “I felt important to be part of making decisions and helping the Government.”

Leonor (9), of Grand Vaux School, said: “I felt happy that we all had a chance to speak.”

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said: “I am delighted to see the involvement and inclusion of the School Council Network in such an important campaign for the Government. The purpose of the student council is to give students an opportunity to develop leadership by organising and carrying out school activities. In addition to planning and taking part in events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare, the student council is the voice of the students. It is wonderful to hear how they felt to be included in this campaign and how important it is for our students to be involved and I congratulate all those who took part.”

Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec said: “On behalf of the Government, I would like to thank all of the students from Jersey’s School Council Network for their involvement, ideas and comments on our Putting Children First campaign. Their feedback was taken on board and communicated back to the Children’s Strategic Partnership Board, who really appreciated hearing their comments and what children had to say about what Putting Children First meant to them. One of the priorities of the Children and Young People’s Plan is that “children will be involved”, so I am delighted to see that this campaign has helped to achieve this already and that the children who were included said they were so proud to have been involved.”

The School Council Network are meeting in the New Year to develop the network further and plans are underway for more debate and joint work.

During the School Council Network meetings students are encouraged to “network” with different students and discuss how their own school councils work.

As well as discussing how Jersey can Put Children First, students discussed topics from Brexit, the new Hospital, meeting Ministers, the Big Education Conversation, their Rights, a Youth Parliament and how to share their thoughts and views with the States Assembly .

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