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Investing in Children 10 March 2006

    St Johns Primary School were delighted to receive their award recently for 'Investing in Children".

    St Johns School Council was set up when the new school opened at the beginning of 2003 and has continued to meet every 2 weeks. This school's particular council is also open to pupils in the reception class, so in total there are 14 members in this group.

    Pictured are Minister for Education, David Anderson MHK presenting the award to Head teacher Nigel Bennett, Roger Bankes-Jones, Chair of the School Governors and members of the school council.St Johns School receives award

    All of the meetings are chaired by a young person with the posts of secretary and treasurer are also held by young people. These are elected posts and held for one year. The school council has it's own budget provided from school funds and revenue from the Tuck shop. The Council then feeds back to the whole school via the school notice board and classroom discussion.

    Members of the council pointed out that no teacher has the 'power of veto', and that everyone's opinion has to be discussed and debated by the council. Although the Council meets without a teacher present they can call in support staff or the head teacher at any time.

    Bernie Stock, evaluator for 'Investing in Children' said" I get the clear impression from this group of young people that they feel very important and influential within the school. There is a strong feeling that St John's is a good school and this is in no small measure due to their efforts. Quite apart from the changes that have taken place in the school, the Head teacher and staff have done a really splendid job in creating a feeling amongst pupils that they are important people with a valuable contribution to make the improvement of their school. For this I think St John's deserves to be recognised as an 'Investing in Children' School."
    Nigel Bennet Head teacher said " We give the children rights, we give them freedom but they know they carry the responsibility of their actions.

    What is Investing in Children?

    Investing in Children is an organisation concerned with the human rights of children and young people. This means asking questions about the way children and young people are treated in society. Where it is clear that the rights of children and young people are being ignored, Investing in Children works to support children and young people themselves, and adults, to challenge and change situations.

    Where did Investing in Children come from?

    In 1995, a group of senior managers of public services in County Durham got together to discuss finding a new way to provide services to children, young people and their families. They were worried about a number of things. There was a very negative image of children and young people in the media - they were most often presented as a 'problem' for adults to manage. The various agencies which provide services to children and young people worked separately, when it would be more sensible if they could work together. Some children and young people were being left out, despite efforts to include everyone. And, most importantly, we weren't paying enough attention to what children and young people themselves had to say about things. The outcome of these discussions was the Investing in Children Statement of Intent. The aim is for individual schools to allow students to set up their own committee, which can create opportunities for pupils to help improve the school shape and its future.

    10th March 2006

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