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“Equal pay for young people” wins the vote at Birchwood

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EQUAL pay for young people – that’s the key issue for youngsters at Birchwood High School and Birchwood College.
The two establishments took part in the British Youth Council’s annual “Make Your Mark” event and, as part of the nationwide project, were asked to choose from 10 key issues, which was most important to them.
A total of 838 youngsters took part – 88 per cent of the school.
Issues discussed including improving access to mental health services, providing cheaper public transport for young people and votes at 16.
It was a close run thing, with 159 voting for equal pay for young people and 147 voting for improving access to mental health.
Joint third, with 123 votes each, tackle knife crime and scrapping taxes on sanitary products.
Birchwood’s votes will be combined with those from other schools and colleges and the winning issue will be debated by the UK Youth Parliament.
Head girl Catherine Colville said: “I think it’s really important that young people take the chance to find out more about politics and make their voices heard.”
Stan Cormack, head boy, said: “I think this really helped to show younger learners the importance of getting involved at school and making your mark”.
Ryan Bate, who co-ordinated the Make Your Mark process at Birchwood, said: “Working with our learner officers and delivering some of the assemblies, it is abundantly clear that, far from the common perception, young people are incredibly interested and concerned about politics and current affairs. “As a school we really want to build on this engagement throughout the rest of the year, with events to mark Parliament Week, Democracy Week and potentially an outreach event for our partner primary schools.”

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