Talks about challenges of modern day living hailed a success

Published 20th April 2018

Discussion sessions about the challenges and dangers of modern life between parents and children at a Rowley Regis school have been hailed a big success.

The sessions at St Michael’s C of E High School's 21st Century Child programme saw more than 200 children and 65 parents discuss the issues young people face on a daily basis. 
During the two events, parents and children discussed the dangers of sexting, pornography, labels, social media, phones and a number of other issues. 
The school worked in partnership with Sandwell’s Community Alcohol Partnership, which leads on Sandwell’s 21st Century Child school programme; Sandwell College; DECCA; Trading Standards; the Police and RAISE.
Sandwell College theatre students developed and delivered theatre-based scenarios to students, which was followed up with a presentation for parents, challenging views and perceptions and providing the platform for children to talk with professionals and their parents.
Aaron Jarvis, ex-gang member and now pastor at Londonderry Church, delivered messages about role models and making choices. 
Becky Jennings from RAISE, discussed the issues of sexting and pornography and how to have ‘difficult’ conversations about relationships and sex, and police constable Hughie Treasure highlighted parental responsibility and the role that phones and social media play in young people’s lives.
Both students and parents praised the event, highlighting how this had allowed for awkward topics to be discussed both during and after the sessions.
School Engagement Development Manager Kerry Whitehouse said, "In a world dominated by social media, we are doing our best to give both students and their parents the most up-to-date information about trending issues.  
"We believe that by working in partnership with students, staff, parents and local agencies, we can provide learning opportunities which are fun and interactive. We are committed to '21st Century Child' and very much look forward to our next event"
The events were viewed as a great success and the school’s Student Voice members are excited to develop the 21st Century Child programme: with young people’s issues at the forefront of their agenda.