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Chelt 4 Change Youth Debate - 'Inequality'

On Thursday 24th March 2022 students and staff from across six Cheltenham Education Partnership (CEP) schools gathered to participate in the first 'Chelt 4 Change' youth debate hosted at the Parabola Art Centre. This event focused on the intentionally broad theme of inequality. 

*Continue scrolling down to view photos from the event courtesy of Cheltenham Ladies College.

The event began with student representatives from each school providing a 2-3 minute speech that captured each of their views and experiences as they relate to inequality. 

"We should be striving for equity across Cheltenham." Student, Cheltenham Bournside School

"6% of young people are digitally disadvantaged in Cheltenham... we need to increase access to technology for those less fortunate." Student, Cheltenham College 

"Gender equality is arguably the unfinished business of the 20th century." Student, St Edward's School 

"I am [black; female; gay] and I am privileged... inequality is like an uneven playing field" Students, Dean Close School

"Additional support with preparing for future careers should be provided to comprehensive schools, to enable their students to get into more professional roles." Student, Balcarras School

"Often we [society] find ourselves treating the symptom instead of treating the route causes." Student, Cheltenham Ladies College

Following speeches the audience engaged with the panel through live questions and discussions covering a variety of topics and their relation to Cheltenham's community, including gender inequality, educational inequality, LBGT, supporting Cheltenham's disadvantaged and more.

Panellists included Alex Chalk QC MP (Conservative MP for Cheltenham and Solicitor General), Councillor Flo Clucas (Liberal Democrat councillor in Cheltenham and Cabinet Member for Safety and Communities), Dame Janet Trotter DBE CVO, and Baroness Fritchie DBE, Richard Gibson (Strategy and Engagement Manager, Cheltenham Borough Council), Florence Nyasamo-Thomas (Head of Projects, Lives of Colour).

"We need to go into these [underprivileged] communities and listen, not risk patronising people by thinking we know how to address their issues." Barroness Fritchie, DBE

"Cheltenham is often viewed as too privileged an area for industry to come and offer students advice and support on careers... We need some form of 'Cheltenham Directory' that links industry with all our schools." Teacher, Bournside School

"How can we get involved with 21st Century jobs?" Student

"Don't be confined by what people say you are now. Aspire to be what you want from the future." Flo Clucas

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