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  Kids' commissioner
Updated 01 October 2003, 14.12
Nigel Williams, Children's Commissioner for Wales
Nigel Williams, Children's Commissioner for Wales


Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Central government

Overview

Nigel Williams has begun work as the children's commissioner for Northern Ireland.

Students decide which qualities and experience a children's commissioner would need and devise interview questions.

Learning aims

  • Function of a children's commissioner.

  • Discuss how kids' lives could be improved with a children's commissioner.
Icebreaker
Read the story:

Ask the class:

  • Which areas should the government spend more money on to help kids?

  • How can the government help kids more?

  • How do you think a children's commissioner can improve your life?
Main activity
1. Students devise 10 interview questions for selecting a suitable person for the post of Children's Commissioner.

2. Give out copies of the

Explain to students that the worksheet is split into and experience and personality qualities.

Students decide which aspects of a person's experience would be most important.

They write down their reasons for certain experience being more important than other.

3. Students make the same decisions about the personal qualities a commissioner would need.

Extension activity

Use pie-charts
Another way of allowing students to express their ideas.

You may wish to give the two blank pie-charts on the worksheet to students to colour and label showing their ideas over the qualities a children's commissioner needs.

Plenary
Recap on the main teaching points and students share their interview questions and choice of candidate qualities.

Teachers' Background

Northern Ireland's first Commissioner for Children and Young People:

  • Nigel Williams was selected by young people from 39 international applicants.

  • He is currently the chief executive of the internet child protection charity Childnet International.

  • His office, aimed at providing a specific voice for children and standing up for their rights, has an annual budget of 2m.

The first Children's Commissioner for Wales:

  • Peter Clarke, 53, used to be director of ChildLine Cymru.

  • Mr Clarke began his career in social work in London 30 years ago.

  • He has wide powers to monitor complaint procedures in social services, the NHS, the voluntary sector and boarding schools.

  • His team will also pinpoint problem areas in children's services in Wales.

  • 12 children drawn from across Wales interviewed the six shortlisted candidates on the day before the formal interviews.

  • It is a 70,000-a-year appointment with a budget in its first year of around 700,000.


For all links and resources click at top right.


Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Watch Newsround's reportWatch Newsround's report
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More InfoBORDER=0
TeachersChildren's Commissioner worksheet
UKNorthern Ireland gets kids' commissioner
PicturesIn pictures: the Cabinet
Find OutOur Parliament guide

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Web Links
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ChildLine
Children's Commissioner for Wales
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Full Teachers Section
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ENGLAND curriculum relevance
WALES curriculum relevance
SCOTLAND curriculum relevance
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>>BBCi Schools: Loads more citizenship
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