Pupil Power seeks assurances from the Government that the voice of children and young people will be heard during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP have sent a letter on behalf of Pupil Power to Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education and Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families, to raise their concern that the voice of children and young people is not being heard during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This has been most prominent during the government’s daily briefings which invited questions from the public, yet its official website prohibited questions being asked from those under the age of 18.
Pupil Power is a network of young students, located across the UK and aged between 11-21, aimed at raising awareness and empowering children and young people to take steps to drive forwards positive change by reimagining what the 21st education system could be.
The movement is calling on the government to provide assurances that should the daily briefings (or any similar format for public engagement) resume, that there will be an opportunity for children and young people to ask questions directly. It has also asked the government to set out wider steps that are being taken to engage with children and young people directly when making decisions within this pandemic.
Aliyah York, founder of Pupil Power said:
“As the next generation we often find ourselves at the fall out of government policies and decisions. This global pandemic has no doubt been the most pressing event we’ve experienced in our lifetime, so it has been disappointing to be disregarded and not welcomed to voice some of our many concerns as we worry about our future.”’
Polly Sweeney, Public Law and Human Rights Partner at Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP said:
“This pandemic, and decisions which are being made by this government, will have a profound and longstanding impact on children and young people’s education and future lives. Young people like Aliyah, and the many students that stand with her in the Pupil Power campaign, have a valuable role to play in the discussions around these decisions.
The UN Convention of the Rights of Child provides that states should ensure that where children are capable of forming their own views, that they have the right to express those views freely, and that they are given due weight. We do not believe the government’s approach during this pandemic is consistent with this fundamental right.”
- Further information about the Pupil Power Campaign can be accessed via their website: pupilpower.org
- The government has been asked to provide a response within 7 days.
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