Children are the city’s future

Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee today (Thursday 26 January) heard the views of three hundred children who imagine the city as a place where every child is healthy, happy, safe and doing their best.

The report that went before committee advised members of the Imagining Aberdeen initiative, which has seen staff from the Children’s Parliament working with 300 children from Bramble Brae, Manor Park, Riverbank and Tullos primary schools.

Five pupils from each of the four schools have become Imagineers so that they could take forward the ideas of their peers and their ‘imaginings’ in a film and on a multi-panelled mural. The Imagineers have created their vision for Aberdeen and now want to know what the City Council can do to make it happen.

Following their film launch in August (2016) the Imagineers presented their ideas at the Integrated Children’s Services conference; a citywide head teachers meeting; engaged with council employees in Marischal College and have taken part in three community engagement events.

Children’s Parliament staff continue to engage with the four schools and are working with teachers to embed a rights-based approach to address attainment issues and improve relationships. The ‘Doing your Best’ project is already having a positive effect in the schools.

The Imagineers plan to present to Full Council later this year and their vision for Aberdeen is also being incorporated into the new Children’s Services Plan 2017-20.

The committee also heard that the Children’s Parliament will present at Aberdeen Learning Festival next month (February 2017) and are looking to develop a lottery funded project in Torry, which will support families in their communities.

Angela Taylor, Convener of the Education and Children’s Services Committee at Aberdeen City Council said: “Imagining Aberdeen is a fabulous initiative and both the mural and film are thought provoking and inspiring.

“Aberdeen City Council is committed to listening to and responding to the views expressed by the children in the mural and film as we are determined that their opinions are considered and reflected in our decision making.

“Reports from the ‘Imagineers’ and their fellow pupils are being used to inform the new children’s services plan and the mural and film will be used to help facilitate engagement with some of our communities in planning for improvements.

“Resources will be targeted in order that they are effectively aligned to the wants and needs of children and young people in the city.”

Bramble Brae, Manor Park, Riverbank and Tullos schools shared the Children and Young People’s Champion Award for their work as Imagineers in the Imagining Aberdeen project run in partnership with the Children’s Parliament.

Information on phase one of the initiative which offer an insight into the children’s views about what human dignity means to children and describes what children, families and communities need to flourish, can be viewed on the Imagining Aberdeen blog: http://bit.ly/aberdeenprojectreports

For more information on the Children’s Parliament visit: http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk