UK Youth Parliament
Laura Spurgeon, a 14 year old student at Admiral Lord Nelson School is Portsmouth’s member of the UK Youth Parliament.
Laura was elected by her peers at the Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS) termly summit. Laura was the clear winner out of 12 candidates in the hotly contested election. In her new role she will be mentored by Portsmouth City Council and a member of the school’s governing body.
Speaking shortly after being elected, Laura said: “I was shocked to learn that I’d won, and then excited and thankful to be given the opportunity to speak for young people in Portsmouth. Many young people are passionate about the future but feel our views are discarded and our voice is not heard. I’m looking forward to getting out and speaking to young people and finding out their views on a range of issues such as mental health, voting at 16 and LGBT education.”
Alison Jeffery, Director of Children Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: “This is fantastic news and I’d like to congratulate Laura on her well-deserved success. Listening to the views of young people is important to the council so as well as her national work with the UK Youth Parliament, we look forward to Laura being able to strengthen the way local services reflect their views too. The competition was strong and the other candidates should also feel proud of their passion and commitment to making a difference.”
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.
The Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS)
This is a forum whereby students across Portsmouth are empowered to share their opinions surrounding their education and learning. Students come together to share their assurances and fears regarding their education and wider community and they are encouraged to work collaboratively in finding solutions to the issues they face to help improve their educational experience and that of other students around Portsmouth.
Work from CoPS
CoPS gives a platform for their voice to be heard and enables students to play an active role in bringing about change which will affect all young people. Students will attend three Student Summit Days as well as a Student Voice Celebration Day. Each event will consist of lots of fun and engaging activities to help the students achieve their goals. During each summit, students will identify a number of key areas to implement school improvements.
Students then have the opportunity to choose which key area they would like to focus on improving and will form Action Groups along with similar like minded students from schools across Portsmouth. Action Groups allow students to work collaboratively with other students from different schools in finding solutions to the issues they have raised and to work on decreasing their prevalence in their schools.
The Council of Portsmouth Students Summit Two took place on Wednesday 5 February 2020 with 42 students from 11 different schools and colleges taking part. Minutes and a PowerPoint summary from the meeting are available.
The restructure concept note provides further information on Primary CoPS.
You Speak Programme
The ‘You Speak’ programme is a chance for students to develop their communication skills and put them into action through debating.