Pupils share ideas to make schools better

Local school children meet West Sussex cabinet member for education Peter Griffiths at their annual council conference.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130402-2 Bog Delegates
Local school children meet West Sussex cabinet member for education Peter Griffiths at their annual council conference.'''Picture by Louise Adams C130402-2 Bog Delegates

YOUNG delegates from village primary schools held their first conference in Westergate.

The 48 pupils aged between five and 11 from four schools got together to share ideas and speak up about their education.

Separate playtimes for younger and older pupils and energy-saving ideas were two of the initiatives which could become more widely adopted as a result of the event.

It was organised by Yapton C of E Primary School head Mary Ramacciotti. She said: “It has been wonderful.

“The children have mixed and have been in discussion about local and wider issues. You can hear the buzz as they put the world to rights in terms of education.

“They are very clear about what they want in terms of schools and their expectations of teachers.”

She hoped the conference – which involved the school councils or their equivalents at Yapton, Walberton, Eastergate and Barnham schools – would become an annual event.

Two of those who took part were among those who eagerly passed on ideas at last Wednesday’s event.

Samin Rahman, 11, of Yapton C of E Primary School, said: “I like communicating with other school councils. We get to know what they do in their schools.

“Eastergate have solar panels to save energy and I would like to see if we could do that.

“We have meetings about health and safety matters in the playground and around the school and I have been talking about them.”

Fellow delegate Henry Grant, 11, of Eastergate C of E Primary School, said: “I have learnt lots about how to improve our schools.

“I have been talking about ideas to save energy, such as switching off lights and computers. I like the idea from another school of having a separate playtime for younger pupils.”

The conference was opened by Cllr Peter Griffiths, who is in charge of education across West Sussex. He compared the role of school council members to councillors in being elected representatives of their communities.

The event was hosted by Westergate Community School. Its school councillors helped on the day.