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Pupils welcome charter

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Pupils welcome charter

SCHOOL pupils have welcomed the opportunity to have a stronger influence on the delivery of their education in Dumfries and Galloway.

It was agreed at the council’s education committee last week to progress with the finalisation of a Pupil Council Charter for the region.

This charter – developed jointly by the local authority and Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council – will ensure consistency in how the council works with children and young people through pupil councils.

It also means that youngsters will have more say on their education and may even have influence over their school uniforms, meals, and anti-bullying policies.

Thomas Paine, a member of the youth council, attended last week’s education committee. He said: “We are in full support of the creation of the charter and we’re hoping in future to build on it even more to make sure that the pupil voice in schools isn’t just tokenistic.

“And it’s really good that there are key things included like children’s rights and the cost of the school day, and that pupils can actually directly influence decisions.”

Stranraer and the Rhins Councillor Willie Scobie commended council officers and the pupils involved in preparing the pupil council charter.

He said: “We’ve got kids of a young age who are confident and articulate in coming forward with issues – and we should encourage that.

“It says a lot for the way that we’re educating our kids.”

A joint meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council and the full council back in February 2020 agreed that every school should have a pupil council – and that these should be treated with the same importance as parent councils.

The Pupil Council Charter will be developed over the next ten months before a final version is put before councillors for consideration in September next year.

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