Elected representatives from 14 of our Primary Academies, and their staff, joined together at Matlock County Hall to celebrate the importance of democracy and the impact that they can all have on making a difference. Children from Years 1 to 6 were represented and selected from across our primary academies.
Whilst there, the children were introduced to many different Derbyshire County Council Counsellors and saw them at work in a cabinet meeting. The children asked plenty of questions and put the counsellors in the hot seat to learn about their roles and responsibilities.
They asked questions such as:
‘What are you most proud of achieving?’ and ‘Why are you wearing that big necklace?’
At the end of the morning, Cllrs Ainsworth (Chair), Wilson (Civic Chair), Dale (Cabinet member for Education) and Patten (Cabinet member for Children’s Services and Safeguarding) all shared how fantastic the children had been.
During the morning, the children not only got to learn a lot about a local government but they had plenty of chances to experience a parliamentary environment. They held their own Trust Pupil Parliament Elections, preparing speeches and then voting on who would be their own Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.
The children were all very articulate and enthusiastic to take on such important roles. The highlight of their morning was visiting and debating in the beautiful Council Chamber. A debate was organised by Mrs Digges and Chaired by Cllr Ainsworth on ‘Should children spend less time on screens?’
The children had prepared arguments for and against this question. They voted after the debate with a majority of 8:6, it was agreed that children should spend less time on screens. They will be coming up with ideas about how children can reduce screen time, which will be shared in due course.
Spencer Academies Trust Primary Director, Angela O’Brien made an appearance via zoom to talk to the children, she shared how proud of the children she was and invited them to present the outcomes of the debate with her and the Trust CEO Paul West. The children were then awarded with their own certificate and pupil parliament badges which they can proudly wear in their own academies.
Spencer Academies Trust Angel, Lucy Herbert who is leading the SAT Parliament group said, ‘As I sat to eat lunch with the children at the end of the morning, I was bombarded with enthusiasm about what they had experienced and what they wanted to do to impact their future education.
‘Can we have another trip like this before the summer holidays?’, ‘Can we carry on representing our schools when we are at George Spencer?’, ‘Can we organise a whole trust sponsored no screens day for charity?’, When can I see my friend again?’ are just a few. What wonderful children we have.’
Well done to all of the children involved!