“Nothing about us without us.”
This section of the toolkit aims to support you to think through how to involve young people in the delivery of an effective Whole School Approach (WSA). It is key that this involvement is authentic and meaningful and does not burden young people or make them responsible for solving the problem. Young people have a right to a childhood and a right to an education – it is the responsibility of adults to keep children safe.
Young people are powerful!
“Embrace the possibility of power in the hands of the people you are teaching.”
Involving young people in Prevention will enhance its effectiveness and impact, as well as ensuring any intervention remains young-person centred. Young people are experts in their own lives and are entitled to have a say in the decisions that affect them:
‘Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.’ (Article 12, UNCRC)
Involving young people in a Whole School Approach (WSA)
A WSA provides plenty of opportunities for young people to be involved, including:
- Awareness raising and campaigning work in school and the local community.
- Participating in group programmes and interventions.
- Feeding into the development of staff training.
- Setting up clubs and societies, becoming young activists.
When adults hear directly from young people about their experience – for example, about sexual harassment in school – they are much more likely to pay attention and take steps to instigate change.