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Young citizens

I was pleased to learn of the new DfES schools council toolkit and the support for citizenship education in primaries.

However, school councils are just one of a range of opportunities offered to develop children's voices and active decision-making by pupils.

The Primary Democracy Project, managed by ContinYou and funded by the Esme Fairbairn Foundation and the Bridge House Trust is developing practical methods that enable primary pupils to engage in skill building and democratic processes. Activities include involving pupils in designing a 'green' playground, enhancing community facilities, delivering an environmental newspaper, and managing a healthy eating tuck shop. Pupils have even helped to appoint staff.

This work with local authorities in England and Wales will complement schools councils. In at least one participating school, pupils are asking for a defunct school council to be relaunched.

Bill Malley

Development manager for young people ContinYou 17 Old Ford Rd Bethnal Green London

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