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On Friday 18th February Barnardo’s Cymru Neville Street Services held a vibrant and exciting School Council Fun Day in the Urdd Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. It was a huge success with 4 School Council Representatives attending from 21 School across Cardiff and everyone having a “fantastic day” (Mr. James – All Saints’ C. W. Primary School).

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler attended and made an inspiring speech to the attendees about the importance of School Council’s in getting their voices heard in relation to Article 12 of the UNCRC and effective decision making in the school as a whole. CBBC’s Sid Sloan also held a fantastic voting session in which 96% said they had had a great day and 89% said they enjoyed being on their School Council.

There were fun activities throughout the day, including a Graffiti Wall, Junk Modelling, a Football Game, Badge Making, Cake Decorating, and Mask Making as well as there being a rights-based workshop, held by the Commissioners Department and a Consultation with Cardiff Children and Young People’s Partnership. The rights-based workshop shop did a brilliant job of promoting children’s rights with 78% of attendees saying they knew more about there rights at the end of the event in comparison to the beginning, whilst the Consultation focused on Participation Standards for Wales and the children’s views on getting their voices heard.

An Effective School Council Workshop for the teachers also took place, which allowed School Council Link Teachers an opportunity to share best practice and raise any problems they were having.

Follow the success of the event it is felt that the development of some form of Children’s Forum is fundamental in moving forward the meaningful participation of younger children in Cardiff. 91% of the children felt there should be a Grand School Council with 81% feeling that meetings should be held once a term. The link teachers also felt that it would be “beneficial” to have some form of city-wide children’s forum meeting. Poppy and Tierney from Tongwynlais Primary School won the logo design competition, whilst Ysgol Glan Morfa won the name competition with “Plant Y Ddinas” – meaning “Children of the City” in Welsh. So watch this space – “Plant Y Ddinas” is going to be a ‘voice’ to be reckoned with!

For more information about the event or any questions about younger children’s participation in Cardiff please contact Hannah Bussicott (Participation Development Officer for Younger Children) at hannah.bussicott@barnardos.org.uk.