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bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D
bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  
We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D

bisexual-books:

Congratulations to the Top 10 of the 2014 Rainbow List!   The Rainbow Project is a joint committee between the GLBT-RT and SRRT Round Tables of the American Library Association.   Each year they promote the best LGBT YA Fiction.  Be sure to click the link for their 20 other nominees as well.  

We’re especially excited to see Pantomime, The Summer Prince, and Love in the Time of Global Warming on the list since all feature strong bisexual characters :D

CRAIG BATEMAN MWYC ATTACKS £3 MILLION CUTS ON BUS SUBSIDIES

theycallmecraig:

On the eve of Worcestershire County Council’s public consultation on the proposed £3 million cuts to subsidies on the county’s bus services is due to draw to a close, it appears that if the cut is given the go-ahead, not only will it contradict the County Councils mission of ‘supporting Worcestershire’s economic competitiveness and growth through delivering a reliable and efficient transport network’, but will leave a huge impact on those many individuals whose livelihoods heavily depend on public transport, in particular those living in the more rural parts of the area, live on a low income or are too young to drive - our young people, who as a Member of Worcestershire Youth Cabinet, I have the privilege of serving.

I believe that supporting young people to grow into active citizens, having access to a high quality education and being equipped with crucial skills that they need to lead a life of active citizenship must be one of our top priorities, however if the proposals go ahead, I fear that many young people who without a sufficient number of buses may find it difficult to commute around the district to gain the qualifications, or experience that they need later on in life will be left in a very vulnerable position, faced with a multitude of problems concerning how they will be able to get to work, apprenticeships, or to school after the proposed cutback on this vital community resource has taken place.

Having served on the Worcestershire Youth Cabinet as a member for Wyre Forest for just under a year, I have had the absolute pleasure of working alongside a range of local councillors and pro-active citizens whose commitment to seeing the Wyre Forest succeed both economically and socially is truly exceptional, however I am also aware that crucial to this work is the support given by local councils who too play an invaluable role in providing the infrastructure through which those individuals are empowered demonstrate active citizenship. In addition, education plays an enormous role in helping young people pick up the skills that they need in later life, and without the means by which children and young people can get to their school, may too be in jeopardy. Whilst I can understand that the need to make cuts is inevitable, I can’t but help question whether there are any other alternative measures to take place before such a cutback on such an incredibly important social resource is put into place.

Open Letter From the Youth Cabinet

Dear All,
On behalf of the Worcestershire Youth Cabinet, we would like to express our thanks for you working with us in the past, in order to help us to achieve the things we have today. As you know, the Youth Cabinet are a group of young people, with a mission to let the voices of young people in Worcestershire shine through into the ever-changing adult world.
At the moment the entire council is making huge cuts through no fault of their own, which will have a major impact on the workings of the Youth Cabinet. For example, we have a fantastic youth worker team, who are all at risk of losing their jobs and will not have the same amount of resources to help us do our work.
However, if we do not have the right amount of support, then the cabinet will not be able to voice and support the needs of the youth of Worcestershire. Now, this where you come in; if you could respond and show your concern, or point us in the right direction, then we will be able to contact you in the in the future with any questions we may have or assistance we may need. It would be worth noting that we are not looking for money, but help, advice and support instead.
Thank you for your concern at this difficult time
Worcestershire Youth Cabinet
(Henry Budden – Secretary , Wyre Forest Rep, Age 13)

Our Education

Education has always been a hotly debated topic in Parliament, even more so when many young people in the UK returned back to school after their summer recess. For very many, the week marked the start of another step in their educational journey, starting high school, college, sixth form or even university.

For me, it was becoming a sixth former. The week beginning 5th September was my first week at King Charles I Sixth Form. Although I was used to the place, having studied there since Year 7, this time something was different- I was no longer there by law, but there out of personal choice. My attendance was optional. It was predicted that 250,000 people across the UK were in the same position as me, and in two years will be able to vote in elections, or even be able to stand as a candidate in elections.

Starting a new academic year is like opening a new book; the first page is clean, you always underline the date and title, you always use a pen for writing, and pencil for drawing, then a few weeks into it the standards start to slip. But not this year. With the government’s new education reforms there’s no place for complacency, and that goes for students too.

One of the main issues is the debate surrounding GCSEs, and their relevance in Britain’s increasingly competitive education system, steered by Conservative ‘robust’ reforms. But perhaps we are not competitive enough. One of the headlines to grip the news in the autumn has been the story of how a teenager living in Pakistan managed to scoop up a staggering 46 A-grade qualifications in his exams. In Britain it is still very rare to see a young person achieving 12 As at GCSE level, and although we shouldn’t be expecting students to achieve as many as 46 top grades, this case study underlines the growing concern that our education system is falling behind in a seemingly global race.

There is also a growing conscientious outlook from schools, and other educational institutions, about their ‘every child matters’ policy. It seems that schools nowadays are driven by statutory responsibilities rather than having the autonomy to develop a fully comprehensive curriculum that not only helps children to progress in terms of academic development, but perhaps more importantly in vocational experience.

The sociological theorist, Emile Durkheim, claimed that “schools are miniature societies based after the social system.” Simply put, schools are the institutions that prepare young people with the skills, values and virtues that they need in later life. If so, then isn’t it equally important that they are competitive, challenging and act as a real source of academic and vocational growth, encouraging young people to grow into responsible citizens as well as effective economic contributors?

Just after a few weeks into the academic year, thousands of teachers went on strike in protest against the government over pensions, pay and workload. As a result of this, many head teachers across the UK were forced to shut their schools for the day, and the education of swathes of young people was disturbed. This causes a dilemma; a conflict of interests. If we want our young people to become responsible citizens, then we need to think about what message we are sending out to them. We need to encourage our young people to take an active role in the democratic processes that have been built in our society; we need to ensure that there are opportunities in place to ensure that their voices are being heard, and consciously acted upon. This includes surveying the views of young people on future strike action- strike action which may impinge upon their academic studies.

There are many uncertainties that face our education system in the future. Each new year academic year brings new challenges for both pupils and teachers alike. With the right sort of changes though, our education system can become globally revered once more; helping our youngest and brightest to reach their full potential both academically and economically.

And for my part, over the last eight months as a Member of Worcestershire Youth Cabinet for Wyre Forest, I have had the enormous honour of working with my local MPs, councillors, business and community leaders, and citizens- in particular young people- to deliver a positive impact on the community. Through this continued hard work, from myself and other young people, I hope that we can soon see the benefits of an education system ready for the challenges of our changing world.

- Craig (originally written for Backbench)

Make Your Mark - King Charles I School

At King Charles, everyone this year has been able to have their say in UKYP’s ‘Make Your Mark’ Campaign 2013.

The campaign was delivered in a special assembly on the lower site, and incorporated into tutorials and citizenship lessons on the upper site over the two weeks of voting. The school also showed there creativity by inviting all the students at the school to cast their vote online.

Speaking about the campaign, Craig said “I’m delighted that students at King Charles got so involved in this year’s campaign, and that alone is a success for youth voice in the area”

The Learning Resource Centre, the research and study hub at King Charles also got involved in this year’s campaign and through the traditional ballot paper system collected 90 replies.

youth-skills-work:

unicef:

Instead of sending weapons to Afghanistan and all these countries which are suffering from terrorism, send books. Instead of sending tanks send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.”

The ever inspiring Malala Yousafzai speaking last week at the UN at the first anniversary of Global Education First, which aims to put every child in school.

Watch this video to see Malala speak and find out more: http://uni.cf/16PXDAT

And read Malala’s teacher’s speech from a special event at the UN ahead of the General Assembly: http://efareport.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/mariam-khalique-speech-unesco-event-19-sept-new-york/

Worcestershire Next Generation

Worcestershire is a county with just over 500,000 people making up its population and like any other county has been continuously tasked with a number of challenges over the last few years. Such challenges often surrounding in some way or other issues such as tackling unemployment, building on economic regeneration and developing community integration in local communities.

However what makes Worcestershire different is that it has a lot of potential. I know this from my experience with Worcestershire Youth Cabinet since my election in March 2013. I also know that Worcestershire is full of people, from a whole range of backgrounds, fields and industries who are deeply passionate about where they live and want to create a sustainable future that is rewarding both for them and their families. This notion is backed by community organisations and social enterprises all over the county, in particular the Shenstone Group, a group of leaders from Worcestershire’s businesses, voluntary, community and public sector organisations working together for a brighter future right here in Worcestershire.

That is why we at Worcestershire Youth Cabinet are delighted to be working alongside the Shenstone Group, to ensure that today’s young people – the next generation have good futures in Worcestershire where they enjoy working, living and engaging. But this challenge also lies in our, the ordinary citizens, hands too.

Young people are being faced with a growing number of challenges in everyday life, and one of the biggest concerns that young people in Worcestershire face today is meeting the excessive cost of transport when travelling to different parts of, and throughout the county. In actual fact, improving public transport was one of the pledges that I was elected to Worcestershire Youth Cabinet to deliver.

Evidence proves that young people are more socially independent and mobile now than ever before, adopting an optimistic approach to growing up, and taking on extra responsibilities – I want to support this by working with young commuters and businesses to ensure a fairer deal for all. After some hard craft, this aim was reached when Worcestershire County Council introduced flat bus rates throughout the county for students, meaning that 11 to 19 year olds in education, at school or at college are now able to travel anywhere in the county at flat rates of £1, £1.50, or £2, however work continues. This is a sign of our commitment to Worcestershire, and I’m sure that the Shenstone Group through its new initiative, ‘Next Generation Worcestershire’ will continue this work, working alongside all of Worcestershire’s community.

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