Did you know that in Cardiff there are young people who sit on interview panels alongside adults to make sure young people have a voice in the choices being made that affect them?
When Cardiff Council’s Director of Education Nick Batchelar was making big decisions about Cardiff’s schooling system leaders recently, this is exactly what happened.
Alongside Mr. Batchelar, young interviewers staffed the panels to interview for Assistant Director of Education and the Program Director for the School Organisation Program (acronym: SOP!). These are two really important positions.
The Assistant Director of Education is responsible for running education services with 520 full-time staff and a budget to the order of £16.5M. That’s a lot of pressure!
Meanwhile, the Program Director for SOP has to deliver the Welsh Government’s Band B 21st Century Schools Programme. The Welsh Gov has described this as “the largest strategic investment in our educational infrastructure since the 1960s.” So a big deal then.
Cardiff has the biggest “school estate”- eg. the amount of school buildings- in Wales, and so will be spending more money on its schools under this programme than any other council. There’s also the fact that loads of new houses are going up around Cardiff, meaning even more schools will be needed. All in all, there’ll be almost half a billion pounds invested in the “education estate” in the next decade.
The young people agreed that:
“it was great to be involved in such interviews which will help to shape the education system in Cardiff.”
The new Assistant Director Education and Lifelong Learning is Mike Tate who will be starting work from September 2019. Meanwhile, the selected Programme Director of the School Organisation Programme is Richard Portas who is on the job sooner, starting from the beginning of June 2019.
Cardiff’s Youth Interviewers are not the only ones making change in their city.
On Saturday 27th of April, several members of Cardiff Youth Council’s (CYC’s) ‘support youth services’ began training towards becoming young inspectors. They looked at the National Participation Standards, how to be assertive rather than aggressive or passive and also how different personality types can contribute in a group setting.
17 year old Alana said:
“the training helped me become more aware of what is going on in the city around us. It also helped me develop different skills including how to inspect alternative education provisions.”
The training aims to make the young people confident when interacting with students at ACT, a Cardiff based provider of training courses. Once the training is complete, the Young Inspectors will be tasked with inspecting the ACT students’ work.