Young Peoples Participation
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people a comprehensive set of rights. It came into force in the UK on the 15 January 1992 and Article 12 of the convention states that children and young people need to be at the heart of decision making where it affects them and this is where participation fits.
The Welsh Assembly Government has adopted a statement, developed by young people, about participation. This is “Participation means that it is my right to be involved in making decisions, planning and reviewing an action that might affect me. Having a voice, having a choice”.
Agored Cymru has been working with the Welsh Assembly Government over the past few years to respond to the accreditation needs of young people around participation and to recommendations from the ESTYN report, Having Your Say. In response to the charitable and strategic commitment to participation, Agored Cymru has worked in partnership with Jane Harries at the Pupil Participation Project to make this happen.
The Young People’s Participation Accreditation Project formed part of the Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales Recognising Wider Learning 14-19 project. For young people to be able to participation well, they must be supported and have access to training. The aim of the project was to accredit this naturally occurring training.
Units and exemplar assessment materials were developed from Entry 3 level to Level 3, providing a flexible opportunities for learners to have they’re participation work accredited. All of the units have been mapped to the Children and Young People’s Participation Standards for Wales. Young people that get this recognition will be speaking the same participation “language” and allows for better and faster ways of working across sectors for the benefit of the young people they represent.
This accreditation also supports national qualifications and agendas including the community participation element of the Welsh Baccalaureate, the statutory requirements for school councils, the national Youth Work curriculum statement for Wales, to name but a few.
This work has been part of our commitment and drive to meet the demands of the young people’s participation agenda and young people have been involved in piloting the accreditation and also in providing valuable feedback to improve the units and assessment materials and to make sure that they meets their needs.