This Wednesday (12th September), 100 children and young people will be heading to the first-ever First Ministers Question Time (FMQT) Next Generation in Glasgow. The event will give children and young people the opportunity to scrutinise the First Minister in person ensuring that their voices are heard in Scottish politics.
FMQT Next Generation is particularly timely following on from the commitment to the inclusion of the United Nations Conventions of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in domestic law in the recent Programme for Government. The UNCRC prioritises children and young people’s participation in matters affecting them and this event will enable children and young people to have a say by providing them an opportunity to speak directly to the First Minister about the matters they care about.
The event has been organised by YouthLink Scotland and Children in Scotland and co-designed with children and young people from across the country. The Design Team (10 young people) and an Online Support Team (9 young people) have made key decisions from the venue to the questions being posed to the First Minister. They’ve even specified that the First Minister is not allowed to know the questions in advance, only the topics, to ensure the answers aren’t rehearsed!
The event forms part of Year of Young People celebrations and we hope that future First Minister’s will commit to taking part in future events, whichever party is in government and whoever is First Minister.
How can you get involved in #FMQTNextGeneration?
Even if you and the children and young people you work with are not attending the event, there are lots of ways to get involved. And we’re sure it’s not just children and young people that want to see what the First Minister will be asked! So here’s how you, your youth group or school can get involved:
1. Create your own mini-viewing of FMQT Next Generation
Thanks to our media partners, STV, FMQT Next Generation is being recorded and will be available on STV Player from Friday 14th September. It will also be available on YouthLink Scotland’s and Children in Scotland’s YouTube channels, including the full event and question by question videos so you can choose what parts you want to watch.
For the adults out there who are interested in watching it, you can also catch snippets from the event on Scotland Tonight on Thursday 13th September at 10:30pm.
2. Run an interactive activity
We have created a great resource for youth workers, teachers and practitioners that includes lots of interactive activities to encourage children and young people to start talking about Scottish politics. Including, ‘If I was First Minister for a day’ activity and a manifesto writing activity that will encourage young people to think about the issues they’re passionate about in their local community.
3. Take action – give young people a voice
There are lots of ways young people’s voices can be heard in Scottish politics. How about organising a ‘take action’ session where children and young people can ensure their voice is heard? Take a look at our suggestions below:
- Get in touch with your local MSP or MSYP
- Attend your
local community council
- Find your local community council on Community Council Scot
- Get in touch with your local councillor
To find the contact details for your local and national politicians in one handy place, take a look at the Write To Them website (does not include MSYPs).
How ever you get involved in FMQT Next Generation, let us know what you get up to by joining the conversation online using #FMQTNextGeneration and tagging YouthLink Scotland (Twitter & Instagram: @YouthLinkScot) and Children in Scotland (Twitter: @Cisweb | Instagram: @ChildreninScotland).