From the Chairman By now you may have picked up that I draw heavily on my own personal experience when thinking how I can try best to help young people. In some ways, that's wrong, I know, because it's just one person's anecdote. I make no apologies, though, because it enables me to say "that's true" and know that it is. Money is no exception. I remember saving up for toy cars out of the pocket money that my parents scrimped for out of their household budget â€“ we were not a wealthy family or even a middle-class family. And I remember vividly, even today, the feeling of sickness and desperation when I lost my pocket money once. Even now, it makes me want to keep young people from ever having to feel those feelings. Later on in life, the feelings returned. You see, I also remember the first of the credit cards being showered over the land. It was as if someone had given us a lump of money to spend and we hadn't had to earn it. You could have what you wanted today and not have to worry about paying for it. Worse yet, the card was a badge that kind of said you belonged to an exclusive club of better-off people to whom the normal rules don't apply. We were the first credit-card generation. My generation had been given "loads-a-money" without knowing how to handle it. Result: Some parents, not having been taught how to handle money, were (and are) unable to teach today's children. Time after time, I hear a young voice saying "I've run out of credit". Problem... BIG Problem... At this point, have faith! I am not about to lecture you or anyone about living within your means, even though yes, it is the right and only real way. But what can we, as School Councils do? How can we help? What is School Councils UK's role in this? Our job here in School Councils UK is to work in the background, supporting as best we can the teachers of money sense within the PSHE curriculum. I am working to draw in the experts like banks and other financial institutions to persuade them to give their professional help to schools, to support the work the teachers are doing. I am encouraging the banks to set up programmes through School Councils, for young people to gain a greater understanding of money matters (at the same time supplementing the PSHE diet with real world content). School councils can only exist if they are relevant to the children themselves. Money matters to everyone, young or old. Being able to handle it is important, young or old. School councillors are at the forefront of money matters in schools, not least because they often become involved in fundraising and organising school events. They are the leaders among the students. By definition they are the ones who are likely to set the example for others to follow. You could say that my money's on the school councillors. Watch this space. Stephen Page
Featured School: Introducing Bucklesham Primary School As our Featured School, we thought it would be a really interesting exercise to tell the evolving story of one Primary school over the weeks and months ahead in this school year, on a "fly-on-the-wall" basis. We have deliberately chosen Bucklesham School in Suffolk because its school council has been flagging slightly and School Councils UK are working with them to inject new ideas and enthusiasm. To see Bucklesham's start point please click here. We hope it will be a two-way process. There may be things you will think are a good idea and adopt. It may be you saying "why don't you .....?" or even "ho ho, we made that mistake too." email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or if you have your own good story to tell the rest of the schools family. It's a great little school set in the country, as you can see. Bucklesham have recently elected their school council for this school year. There are two school councillors for each year from years 1-6 with two extra year 6's appointed to represent the early years class. We've given ourselves the challenge. Let's see what's possible. More next time..
Thank you from the organisers of Global Handwashing Day The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and all of the Global Handwashing Day partners would like to thank schools and pupils for their fantastic response to this year’s Global Handwashing Day activities. Schools submitted some fantastic entries for the ‘Artwork for Handwashing’ competition. The winning school was Dykesmains Primary School in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, which has won £2,500 to improve the school’s washroom facilities. Children have also been helping scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by completing the 100 Schools Survey, giving their opinions on their school’s toilets and handwashing facilities. The results of the survey will be announced on Global Handwashing Day – 15th October. It’s not too late for other schools to get involved. Visit www.globalhandwashingday.org.uk for free downloadable school resources and the new Global Handwashing Day poster.
Major sponsor of Global Sponsor of the Global Handwashing Day UK 2010 Handwashing Day UK 100 and sponsor of the Artwork Schools Survey for Handwashing competition
Nutrition and Activity
Also sponsoring Global Handwashing Day UK 2010
Thank you everybody for your responses which came in thick and fast asking for nutrition guidelines and the recipe for Pomarola sauce (if you missed the last newsletter, email me email@example.com to get your copy). The response was just amazing. Thank you. We now have Pom being made in schools in Bromley, N Ireland, Cheshire, Sheffield, Conwy, Suffolk, Norwich, Manchester, Waltham, Hackney, Coventry, Cardiff and Leicester to name a few. The nutrition guidelines were researched and written with my sons in mind who work physically very hard in the boat and, among other things, need carbs on board during what can be 7 hours afloat. The guidelines are good guidelines, I'm sure, but from the considerable response, it's clear that this is an area where people are looking for answers, better and fuller answers than I am in a position to give right now. I need to come back with a Mark 2 answer, which I will do in future newsletters, so keep an eye open! Meantime, another recipe for you? Here's how to get kids to eat "green stuff": Cauliflower Cheese (ah, but the cheese sauce has an extra twist!). Email me and I will send you this recipe too. [Mums: Like "Pom", this always ends up with an empty bowl.] While we're at it, I was talking to a school recently, who told me that their school council decided on what they wanted to eat. They then took the recipe to a general meeting of caterers and their ideas spread to other schools in the area. With that in mind, please would you send me your school's most popular and successful recipe and I will have it collated together in a "School Councils Cookbook", so that we can all celebrate some great cooking and share the knowledge. Send your recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Tips from the Trainers There was one school where every time the school council met they raised the fact that they wanted school lockers. The headteacher knew that the school had neither the space for lockers nor the budget to buy them. However, in order not to simply squash the idea, she gave the school council a brochure and told them to research it. Within a week or so, the children came back to her and said "It's no good – they're too expensive and we can't find anywhere to put them, there's no space". So.... the children were empowered, they had the idea, they researched it and they came to their own conclusion. Tah-dah! So much better than simply being given a flat "NO".
Let the Government know what you think May I pass on some quotes to me from HM Government to let you know that they really appreciated you all doing the surveys concerning the Children's Commissioner. They said: "We have had a really encouraging number of children and young people who have filled in the online survey, with roughly more than half of them citing the Schools Council as the way that they heard about the consultation" "Many thanks for sending this on. I will add it to our ever growing list of views – we’ve had a great response!" "Thanks for your help with this. It is really appreciated! " HM Government can see school democracy and pupil voice in action. Your views have been put to the government, who are reading them as you read this. Well done and thank you. Give yourselves a pat on the back.