Sixth formers to have their say during Assembly conference

Published 14/02/2014   |   Last Updated 14/07/2014

Sixth formers to have their say during Assembly conference

14 February 2014

More than 100 Welsh sixth-form students from across Wales will gain first-hand experience of life in the National Assembly for Wales at the annual Government and Politics conference, which takes place on 19 and 20 February.

The two-day event features a series of presentations and workshops designed to educate students on the work of the Assembly and provide an opportunity for them to air their views on issues that are important to them.

Among the speakers this year are the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones AM, and the Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales, Paul Silk. The Commission is currently reviewing the powers devolved to Wales.

The event will be hosted by the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, who has put young people at the heart of the Assembly’s drive to increase engagement with the work of the National Assembly.

“There is no greater challenge in Wales today than to engage with our young people,” said Dame Rosemary.

“Devolution is here to stay and we want it to deliver for all the people of Wales. A central part of that process is getting younger people engaged with the work that my colleagues and I undertake here at the Senedd, in order to fully inform the future democratic process in Wales.

“Initiatives such as this conference not only allow us to set the foundations for devolution for generations to come, but will also provide ideas for the elected representatives of a young democracy such as ours to undertake their roles armed with the fresh perspective of a younger generation.

“As part of that process, the Assembly has been running a nationwide youth consultation ‘Your Assembly – your say, your way’ about how the National Assembly for Wales should engage with young people.

“We want young people to tell us what matters to them, what they expect from us and what we can do to make sure their voices are heard.

“The Assembly’s Education and Outreach Services interacted with 4,116 young people during the consultation period last term. The consultation has now closed but we still want to hear the views of young people.”

Students will also learn about the National Assembly’s petitions system and have the opportunity to debate ideas for petitions before one is accepted by the Petitions Committee for consideration.

Eleven schools and colleges from across Wales will attend the event, which is spread over two days in Siambr Hywel, the former debating chamber of the National Assembly, now dedicated to hosting debates involving schools and colleges.

The conference includes students from Cardiff, Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberavon, Monmouth, Mold, Ebbw Vale, Pontypool and Caernarfon.

The National Assembly will be posting images and videos throughout the conference including interviews with speakers, panelists and students. Follow @assemblywales or #gpcwales to find out what’s happening.

Anyone wishing to find out more about ‘Your Assembly – your say, your way’ can visit