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The Henry
Beaufort
School

National Takeover Day 2016

Friday 18th November saw Winchester City Council open its doors to 17 students from The Henry Beaufort School, offering them the chance to take over adult roles as part of the Takeover Challenge, a national initiative run by the Children’s Commissioner.

The scheme aims to put children and young people in decision-making positions and provides them with an insight into the adult world. In return, it gives organisations the chance to benefit from a fresh perspective about their work.

The students spent half a day in different Council Departments including; Housing Support, Income Services, Economy and Arts and Environmental Health.  They went on site visits and took over social media channels, with one Henry Beaufort student using the Council's Twitter account to send a tweet about the takeover that was later ranked the 44th most popular tweet across the country, by gov.uk – a really great achievement! The students were also asked how they felt our services could be improved as well as taking part in a Money and Advice Workshop.

Dawn Purver, who arranges the scheme on behalf of the Council said: “National Takeover Day offers a wonderful opportunity for Young People to experience the workings of a City Council, to gain insight into the resources and services we provide and to understand the challenges we face. In return we are able to gain their views on how we might improve our practices and services, some of which were incredibly creative”

The day was rounded off by a visit from The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Jane Rutter who presented the students with their Takeover Challenge certificates and heard a little about their day. 

Cllr Rutter said “The Takeover Day was a huge success.  The Young People I met were positive and enthusiastic about their experience and had some great ideas on how they felt some of our services could be improved.  They were a credit to The Henry Beaufort School”.

One of the students taking part said of his day “I found it most interesting to discover how much variety there was in jobs based in the housing department.  It made me realise how much has to be done on a daily basis”.

We were also delighted to receive feedback on two attendees, Year 10's Jack and James, from a member of staff who worked with them: “I just wanted to take the opportunity to say just how wonderful Jack and James were last week. They were both very polite and respectful of ourselves, tenants and the blocks of flats where the tenants live. I thought that they showed a real intelligence and good background knowledge of social housing, they also listened to our views and gave their own views freely. The boys were a credit to the school, they made the morning feel very worthwhile and enjoyable.”

For more information on the Takeover Challenge visit www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk