On Wednesday 25 January 2017, Warlingham students Charlie Toogood and Georgie Jones joined students from Oxted and de Stafford schools to spend a day with officers and councillors of Tandridge District Council, as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge.
During the day the students, working in their school teams, were set a number of challenges which involved making decisions which shape the lives of people living in the district. Points were awarded for each task.
After testing their knowledge of the Council and its functions, students spent time with the Customer Services team learning how to answer calls and enquiries and were each challenged to handle a resident enquiry. After a briefing by the elections team, they were tasked with setting up and running their own polling station.
Housing staff asked the students to help settle a simulated dispute between tenants, before they considered a simulated building application with Planning staff. Finally, the students met the Recycling and Waste team and were asked to create a food waste campaign idea.
At the end of the day, the points were added up and the Warlingham School students were declared the winners.
Louise Round, Chief Executive, said: “We greatly enjoyed hosting the students from our local schools, giving them an insight into how the Council works and the important and interesting jobs we all do. We were impressed by the way the students approached each challenge and the questions they asked during the day. We very much hope we have inspired them to think about a career in local government in the future.”
- Front row: Jak Smith, Oxted School, Councillor Pat Cannon, Georgie Jones, Warlingham School
- Back row: Victoria Witts, Housing, Sarah Martin, Benefits, Charlottte Bradshaw, Communications, Jessica Owen, de Stafford School, Charlie Toogood, Warlingham School, Julie Porter, Committees, and Sonya Clarke, Housing and Health.
Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which puts children and young people into decision making roles. Organisations and businesses benefit as they gain a fresh insight into their work by listening to children’s ideas and experience.