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Special Schools Youth Forum

If you go to a special school and have something to say, say it at your youth forum.

Youth Council holds local youth forum meetings for special schools three times a year. The special schools forums are designed so that you can go along and chat about anything that's happening in your area that you're not happy with or have an idea on how to improve.

The Special Schools Forum was created to make sure that young people attending Derbyshire special schools have a voice in things that are important to them and are able to talk about things that are affect them. The forum is led by the young people, who decide what they want to be on the agenda. It's based on things that are important to them and issues that are raised at the Derbyshire Youth Council.

The forum began in March 2013. Two young people from each of the ten special schools are invited to attend the meetings and are supported by a member of their school staff.

Recently the forum have been discussing work experience opportunities, as well as being involved in a competition to design a new logo for the Support and Aspiration website

Young people say:

"We like coming here because we get to meet new people and represent our school giving us chance to share our thoughts."

"I like to visit different schools."

"I enjoy being on this because I meet other student's from other special schools and it is good to talk about things that affect other students like me."

"The forum makes me feel important and I like to share information with other pupils, it was nice that other schools visited my school."

"The meeting is very grown up and I like to meet new people."

"The people are nice at the forum. You get help when you can't do things on your own. I like that kids with disabilities can say what they think about stuff."

"I like coming to the special schools forum so that I can have a say in important issues with people like us that have special needs. I enjoy meeting other students and getting to know them and seeing other pupils from different schools."

The Special Schools Youth Forum had its first meeting of 2015 at Ashgate Croft in Chesterfield, hosted by Shaun. The meeting was joined by Kathryn Boulton, assistant director of schools and learning, and the young people spent the morning planning their first county conference for secondary age pupils who go to one of our special schools.

The young people were planning the workshops that they wanted to help them become more independent in life and started to think about an advertising flyer.

Kathryn said that she was:

"really pleased to see the contribution young people were making to the forum"

and looked forward to the conference later in the year.

The Special Schools Youth Forum Conference will be at Lea Green in October.

For more information please contact Ruth Pownall, disability inclusion manager, email: ruth.pownall@derbyshire.gov.uk