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DevelopingYouthVoice
in Kirklees
Political Education, Powerful Not Pointless
What is KirkleesYouth Council?
• We are a non-partisan group of young people from
across Kirklees.
• We are principally in...
Youth Forums Pilot Programme
• In 2015 we rolled out an educational project at
secondary schools in Kirklees.
• This proje...
Youth Forums Pilot Programme
• The delivery of the project’s content was
conducted in four stages:
1. Identify young peopl...
Our Findings
• We asked the people involved in the project three
main questions:
1. Who makes decisions for you?
2. Who ca...
Who makes decisions for you?
1. Parents
2. School/Teachers
3. Me
4. Family
5. Parliament
6. Friends
7. Prime Minister
8. T...
Who can you influence?
1. Friends
2. Family
3. School/Teachers
4. Parents
5. Younger generation
6. Students
7. Parliament
...
What stops you from sharing
your ideas and solutions?
1. Confidence
2. Fear
3. Family
4. Age
5. Friends
6. People not list...
Conclusions
• Young people do not consider the actions of
government to affect decisions made about their
lives.
• Young p...
Solutions
• De-mystification of government information
sources and legislation
• Government reports should be written in t...
Solutions
• Consistent, thorough, non-partisan political
education
• Young people must be aware from the start of their
ed...
Solutions
• Visible elected officials
• Councillors and MPs should conduct regular visits to all
schools in their local ar...
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Developing Youth Voice in Kirklees: Political Education, Powerful Not Pointless - a #Notwestminster 2016 Lightning talk by Chloe Brown

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Young people tell us that they don’t know enough about the way that our political systems work as they do not have access to political education in a set curriculum at school. Having a good political education is empowering, even life changing. Young people are the future in the world of politics, so why deny them a head start? Chloe Brown from Kirklees Youth Council gave this Lightning talk at Notwestminster 2016, Saturday 13th February in Huddersfield. Find out more at: www.notwestminster.org.uk

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Developing Youth Voice in Kirklees: Political Education, Powerful Not Pointless - a #Notwestminster 2016 Lightning talk by Chloe Brown

  1. 1. DevelopingYouthVoice in Kirklees Political Education, Powerful Not Pointless
  2. 2. What is KirkleesYouth Council? • We are a non-partisan group of young people from across Kirklees. • We are principally interested in involving young people in the political process. • We are an open organisation – we accept anyone who wants to join and anyone may speak at our meetings.
  3. 3. Youth Forums Pilot Programme • In 2015 we rolled out an educational project at secondary schools in Kirklees. • This project was focused on providing young people with information on local decision making. • We gathered information on the concerns of young people and barriers to their political involvement. • In concluding the project we set up youth forums at participating schools.
  4. 4. Youth Forums Pilot Programme • The delivery of the project’s content was conducted in four stages: 1. Identify young people’s existing political knowledge, identify local issues for youth and identify barriers to their participation in local decision making. 2. Educate young people in the structure and process of local decision making. 3. Provide young people with skills to understand and represent issues faced by peers and identify key, local decision makers. 4. Provide accreditation for young people and plan steps in formation of a local youth forum.
  5. 5. Our Findings • We asked the people involved in the project three main questions: 1. Who makes decisions for you? 2. Who can you influence? 3. What stops you from sharing your ideas and solutions?
  6. 6. Who makes decisions for you? 1. Parents 2. School/Teachers 3. Me 4. Family 5. Parliament 6. Friends 7. Prime Minister 8. The Queen 9. The Council 10. MPs 11. Clubs/Groups 12. Councillors 13. Adults 14. Social media
  7. 7. Who can you influence? 1. Friends 2. Family 3. School/Teachers 4. Parents 5. Younger generation 6. Students 7. Parliament 8. Me 9. Siblings 10. Community 11. Social media 12. Group/Club 13. Pets/Animals 14. School Council 15. The Council 16. Councillors
  8. 8. What stops you from sharing your ideas and solutions? 1. Confidence 2. Fear 3. Family 4. Age 5. Friends 6. People not listening 7. No support/opportunity 8. Consequences 9. Teachers 10. Reputation 11. Don’t know who to talk to 12. Nothing 13. Adults
  9. 9. Conclusions • Young people do not consider the actions of government to affect decisions made about their lives. • Young people do not believe that they have a strong influence on the decisions made by national or local government. • The factors limiting the involvement of young people in parts of the deliberative process that they can access are lack of confidence and fear (of physical harm by others, judgement, failure and not being taken seriously.)
  10. 10. Solutions • De-mystification of government information sources and legislation • Government reports should be written in the plainest possible English while still retaining their full meaning. • Laws and changes to laws should also be written in this way.
  11. 11. Solutions • Consistent, thorough, non-partisan political education • Young people must be aware from the start of their education that they are citizens of a state, with rights and responsibilities. • They must be aware of how the deliberative element is structured and how they can influence it, locally and nationally. • They must be taught about the services the government provides, in what areas the government provides support, and the duties of government in regards to administration and raising revenue.
  12. 12. Solutions • Visible elected officials • Councillors and MPs should conduct regular visits to all schools in their local area so they become familiar to and with young people in their constituency. • During these visits developments in local and national government should be discussed with emphasis on those that affect young people.

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