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Work, play, safety and homes – children and young people shape Fair Futures Commission recommendations for Islington

Fair Futures Commission report cover

Fair Futures Commission report cover

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A ground-breaking independent report has today (Monday 19 February) published its recommendations to make Islington the best place in the UK for young people to grow up.

Islington’s Fair Futures Commission – the first of its kind in the country – was launched a year ago by Islington Council specifically to consult children, young people and the adults who work with them.

The independent commission is chaired by 23-year-old Jermain Jackman, a former Islington Arts and Media School student who won TV talent show The Voice in 2014.

The commission’s aim is to make a fairer future for all, to listen to the next generation and give them the power to shape the things that directly affect their experiences growing up.

Commissioners sought these voices with a series of events and discussions held in schools and youth hubs, and walks through the borough to see it through the eyes of children and young people themselves.

After carefully considering their findings and the feedback, the commissioners have made a range of recommendations to Islington Council and its partners, including:

  • Every young person should have access to, and complete, at least 100 hours of work experience by the age of 16;
  • 'No ball games' signs and policies should be reviewed in consultation with young people, residents and relevant authorities;
  • All major building works in the borough should include consultation with children and young people from the beginning of the project;
  • Every contact between children and young people and those who work with them should be used as an opportunity to learn about the young person's welfare and safety.  This information should be proactively collated and analysed to identify risks and ways to overcome them.
  • There should be a guarantee for children and young people living or studying in the borough, setting out the support they can expect from Islington Council and its partners from birth to early adulthood.

The recommendations and report are published today in full at http://www.fairfutures.org/our-recommendations/

Commission chair Jermain Jackman said: “Islington offers incredible opportunities for anyone lucky enough to grow up here, but too often children and young people are excluded from the big discussions that directly affect their lives.

“They have told us of the issues that can make it harder for them to really thrive here.

“We think our ideas – some big, some small, but all relevant and valuable – will help make this borough the very best place to grow up.

“For example, any 16-year-old with 100 hours’ experience of the working world under their belt will be better prepared for the future – equipped with skills for life and a stronger candidate for that ideal first job or training opportunity.

“Young people also need a greater stake in Islington’s places and spaces, having a say in major building projects and shared spaces in their neighbourhood – reviewing ‘no ball games’ signage is just one part of that aim.

“And building essential life skills like managing money, emotions, and how to live independently is really important, too.

“I am proud of everyone who took the time to help us shape these recommendations, and together we can make these changes for the benefit of generations to come.”

The commission brought together a diverse range of expertise – from academics and psychologists to local students and parents, as well as representatives from the charity, health, arts, education and academic sectors and Islington Youth Council. They all share a desire to help children and young people reach their potential.

The commission’s recommendations are addressed to Islington Council and its partner organisations, which will now consider how best to make changes that put children and young people at the very centre of local public services.

For further information please contact: 

Stephen Moore 
Senior Media Officer 
Islington Council 
Room G16, Town Hall, Upper Street, London, N1 2UD 
Tel: 0207 527 3224 
Out of hours mob: 07769 163303 
Alternative contact: Media line 020 7527 2307 
www.islington.gov.uk 
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