Pupil Voice

Portsmouth's youth parliament team

(L-R) Ella Reilly, Destiny Rose-Forde Kennedy and Willow Lindstrom-Fabik

Portsmouth’s Member of Youth Parliament (MYP)

Destiny Rose-Forde Kennedy, a 16 year old student at The Portsmouth Grammar School is Portsmouth’s new Member of Youth Parliament.

In her role as Member of Youth Parliament, Destiny will work alongside councillors and influence key decisions that affect young people and children.

Speaking after being elected, Destiny said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me. The 52 candidates who originally put themselves forward were all incredibly talented.

“Giving young people a voice is something that I believe to be essential and invaluable because we are the future and if we’re not involved in important discussions, so many significant experiences and perspectives will be excluded and that would be devastating.”

Due to the high calibre of candidates shortlisted, two deputy roles have been created to support the member of youth parliament for Portsmouth.

The two new deputies are Ella Reilly, 17, a student at Havant and South Downs College (HSDC), and Willow Lindstrom-Fabik, 13, a student at Priory School.

UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. All Members of Youth Parliament meet nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.

Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS)

CoPS logo

The Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS) is a Student Forum facilitated by Unloc, based at the Changemakers Studio in the Portsmouth Guildhall. CoPS has a long established history dating back to when it was founded in 2002. Almost every secondary school in the city participates.

The forum looks to empower students from across Portsmouth to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions surrounding their education and learning, as well as their wider community. The students work together to find solutions to the issues they face, share conversations and resources to assist each other, and support one another in their actions. All of these lead to improvement in their educational experience, that of other the students in Portsmouth, as well as the future students of these establishments.

CoPS gives a platform for students’ voices to be heard and enables students to play an active role in bringing about change which will affect all young people in the city. Students involved in CoPS attend three student summit days across an academic year, where best practice is shared, guest speakers are invited to contribute, and engaging activities are undertaken to not only help the students achieve their action plan goals, but also to educate and inspire them, often leading to them passing this on to their peers.

Work from CoPS

The representatives from each establishment make up an Action Group with a focused action plan goal of something they wish to improve. Some examples include diversity, mental health, eco-friendly, life skills and careers. Action Groups are made up of like-minded students who wish to improve a particular aspect of their own institution, and with regular Action Group Meetings over the academic year, goals can be tracked along with support and advice shared.

CoPS elects an executive team, consisting of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Communications Officer, Social Media Officer, and Education Officer. These individuals, working with the Action Group Leaders (AGLs) from each Action Group, meet termly to plan future summits and meetings, as well as review the forum as a whole.

There is also a Primary Council of Portsmouth Students; if you are a leader in a local primary or junior school, please contact [email protected] to find out about how to get involved.

You Speak Programme

The ‘You Speak’ programme is a chance for students to develop their communication skills and put them into action through debating.