Delegates’ Assembly – DMAT and Citizens UK

25 February 2022 |

DMAT’s Delegates Assembly – Litter and the Environment voted as top issue for the Community!

Last Tuesday, the three pilot schools involved in our partnership work with Citizens UK of Okehampton Primary School, Tavistock College and Bridgerule CE Primary School, met to discuss the issues which they believed were a priority in their local community and vote on key themes which could be adopted across the Trust.

They had launched listening campaigns in the Autumn Term where the students had listened to the concerns within the school and then the wider community including parents, voluntary groups, community police officers and town councillors. The sessions, led by our enthusiastic students, were designed to encourage people of all ages across the community to discuss what is great about the places they live and what could be done to improve these areas. The students found a multitude of ways to gather viewpoints from completing surveys and using QR codes to inviting local people into the school and attending existing events such as Edwardian Evening in Okehampton to listen to local people.

The Delegates Assembly was hosted by Okehampton Primary School with delicious refreshments provided by Steve Parr, Executive Chef for the Trust and his team. There were musical interludes provided by the talented students of Okehampton College.

Jayden Horncastle – Okehampton Primary School, Amber Butterworth – Bridgerule Primary School and Issey Persse – Tavistock College chaired the event.  Students outlined the themes which had come up during their listening campaigns and chose one idea for change in their town or village. Amongst priorities for the 3 schools, were more youth clubs in the evening and more sports opportunities for girls. Everyone at the Assembly also voted on a topic which could be common to all children across the Trust and this was litter and the environment. The next steps will be to find ways across all the communities, where this can be tackled and also working with more schools in the Trust to be involved in the Summer Term.

Derrick Brett, Executive Director of Civic Leadership said ‘It’s been wonderful to see the children develop their leadership and presentation skills through this process and hear what their priorities are for the areas they live in. We are excited to see them empowered to lead on these ideas.’

Alongside this and to support this work, DMAT is supporting an effort to set up a Citizens Alliance across Devon, signalling its commitment to taking-action with local people and organisations for social justice and the common good.

Dr Sebastien Chapleau, Lead Organiser, Citizens UK said ‘What DMAT is clearly showing, by getting involved with Citizens UK, is a clear desire to develop the collective agency of its young people and teachers. In a world where many people feel their voices don’t matter, DMAT schools are bucking the trend and are focusing on taking action across their communities.’

We hope you enjoy these photos which were taken at the Assembly by Kai Lau. Many thanks to him for covering this event.