Year of the Child (Our Year 2022)
- Meeting of Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 12th January, 2022 2.00 pm (Item 4.)
Report and presentation of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services
This report and presentation provide an update on Our Year 2022.
The Committee received a report and presentation of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services which provided an update on Our Year 2022.
The main points and themes within the presentation included:
- The feedback from engagement with children and young people on what was important to them and what Manchester could do better;
- Key themes identified from this;
- Events, activities and campaigns;
- UNICEF Child Friendly City submission; and
- How Members could support this work.
The Executive Member for Children’s Services encouraged the Co-opted Members to watch the webcast of the Council meeting on 1 December 2021, at which young people from across Manchester had spoken about the issues that were important to them. He highlighted the last slide of the presentation on how Members could support Our Year and encouraged the Committee Members to get involved. He advised that support was available in doing this and that the Our Year Project Lead could circulate an information pack.
Some of the key points and themes that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- To welcome this work;
- The number of children and young people across different settings who had been engaged through this work and whether they were representative of all children and young people across the city;
- The importance of the voice of children of all ages being heard;
- How Our Year would be promoted, including engagement with parents;
- That many teachers would welcome the opportunity to support this work and that it was important to ensure that this was communicated to them; and
- The lack of work experience placements during the pandemic and what could be done to encourage more organisations to take part, noting that Members might be able to offer work experience or shadowing opportunities.
The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services advised that the communication strategy was being refined and developed and the intention had been to start with a soft launch through a series of events with the website being fully up and running by mid-February. He also highlighted the briefing packs which were being produced. The Chair advised that empty billboards across the city should be used to promote Our Year as well as using social media. The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services emphasised the importance of Our Year not just being about the Council but involving the wider community, with a cultural shift and a legacy of children and young people being involved in the big decisions for their city. He advised that the Executive Member for Children’s Services and the Director of Education were engaging with schools regarding Our Year. He outlined how children and young people had been engaged with across school settings, advising that pupils, for example, those who were part of the School Council, spoke on behalf of their peers so the views gathered reflected a wider range of pupils than just those who were directly engaged with. He informed Members that engagement with the business sector as part of Our Year was not just about getting a financial contribution from businesses but about time, accessibility and support, including work experience opportunities. The Chair advised that these issues should be considered as part of the social value element of contracts awarded by the Council. The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services assured Members that social value was being built into this work.
In response to a Member’s question, the Our Year Project Lead outlined the work involved in the UNICEF Child Friendly City submission and suggested the Committee could be provided with an update at a later date, including information on how Members could support this. In response to a Member’s suggestion about engaging with young people again in a year to assess the impact this work had had, the Our Year Project Lead advised that this would be part of the measures of success for the project.
To note the report and presentation and endorse and support Manchester submitting an expression of interest to become part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly City and Communities programme.