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Young people ready for council’s #TakeoverChallenge

Takeover Challenge

More than 60 children from three schools will take over services at North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) next week.

The pupils will go behind the scenes at both the Coalville council offices and at Hermitage Leisure Centre for a day of inventive and interactive fun designed to help them learn more about the world of work.

This national event on Friday 24 November is organised by the Children’s Commissioner. It allows young people to ‘takeover’ organisations, businesses or venues, giving them an insight into the different jobs out there, and in this case, the workings of a council.

Students from Belvoirdale Primary School, King Edward VII College and Ibstock Community College, will take on a number of challenges and scenarios set by the council’s various services.

Amongst other things, the students will: 

  • Help to manage Hermitage Leisure Centre for the day
  • Inspect a kitchen suspected of failing in food hygiene
  • Create an emergency plan and respond following a local crisis
  • Investigate a fly tip, spotting the clues and catching the culprit
  • Decide on a planning application, holding a planning committee to make the final decision
  • Take over the council’s social media accounts and write a press release about the day.

This is the first time NWLDC has taken part in the Takeover Challenge, which has been hugely successful on a national scale in helping children to learn new skills, get creative and gain confidence.

NWLDC Chief Executive Bev Smith said: “The Takeover Challenge is a brilliant way for us to give young people a better understanding of the role the council plays in the community. We also hope it will give us some ideas on how we can work better with a younger audience and make them aware of our services, activities and events.

“I know the schools involved are looking forward to it and I think some of our officers are equally excited given the inventiveness I’ve seen with some of the challenges we have planned!”

Leader of NWLDC, Councillor Richard Blunt, said: “It’s really important children understand the services councils provide and ultimately how we spend public money. This is a fun and entertaining way of achieving this and I’m sure all the young people getting involved will have a brilliant day.

“I think we as a council can learn a lot from the day too. Young people should always have a voice and I have no doubt they’ll come up with some interesting ideas for us during the day.”

Richard Dax, head teacher at Belvoirdale Primary School, said: “The school is delighted to be taking part in the Takeover Challenge at the council. This is a unique opportunity for our children to demonstrate their incredible life skills and individual talents which as teachers we see every day at school, but are rarely acknowledged through National Curriculum exams and assessment systems.”

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