About 21st Century Child

The 21st Century Child programme has been running for many years at St Michael’s Church of England High School and is driven by Student Voice.  The initiative started with agency led parent information evenings, but through the work of Student Voice, this has evolved into a range of interactive and educational events that produce excellent levels of engagement.  21st Century Child uses innovative approaches to raise awareness of the issues that affect young people.  We strongly believe in success through partnership and work closely with a range of professionals and local organisations to consult, agree the vision and create accessible content.  Each event structure varies depending on the issues and can be tailored for students or both students and their parents; this, in turn, provides a platform for some of the more difficult conversations.  Due to the success of this initiative, the 21st Century Child programme has been adopted by Sandwell Council and rolled out to other local schools.

THEMES 

As the events are student-led and co-created based on trending issues, themes are not pre-set for the year. All events are created through consultation with key stakeholders.  Events have focused on issues such as social media, body image and identity, mental health and youth violence.

COLLABORATION 

Event partners have included:

  • WM Police
  • Sandwell Public Health
  • Youth Services
  • Trading Standards
  • BEAM
  • Kooth
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Sandwell College
  • DECCA
  • Champions Church
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospital
  • WM Fire Service
  • Alison Cope
  • SHAPE
  • BCWA

“St Michael’s Student Voice provide a much-needed bridge of communication for parents and carers. One of their regular events, 21st Century Child is presented by both students and outside agencies and covers eye opening, relevant topics such as mental health, online safety and county lines. These evenings are extremely informative and the benefit to all is invaluable.”  

Jenny Postings – Year 10 Parent

“As a parent of a teenage girl, I really struggled when she started High School. I had anxiety about all the horrible things that go on in the world that could affect her. The 21st Century Child events help address the issues for kids today and help me as a parent to talk to my daughter confidently about those things. As the sessions are led by students, they highlight first-hand how these issues affect young adults, plus the involvement from local organisations involved really show what support is out there for us as a family.” 

Victoria Dimmock – Year 8 Parent