Sam Frankel and Kate Bacon
Our interest in exploring children’s agency
Children’s perspectives on the ‘good society’
Backdrop of Big Society Agenda: NCS National Citizen Service
WHAT KIND OF CITIZEN?
Do-er and go-getter
A rite of passage:
‘we have worked hard to build a really special and rich rite of passage experience for young people on the cusp of adulthood’.
•Phase 1: An introductory phase in which expectations will be set and relationships built between participants and staff.
•Phase 2: A set of tasks, completed in a residential setting away from home, which are personally challenging (typically in the form of an outdoor challenge experience), and focused on personal and social development (one week).
•Phase 3: A set of structured tasks involving visiting and helping the local community and developing skills, again the aim is that this would be completed in a residential setting away from home (one week).
•Phase 4: Participants to design a social action task in consultation with the local community (one week).
•Phase 5 onwards: A period of 30 hours of social action on a part-time basis
‘…the long-term aim is for NCS to become a rite of passage for all 16-year-olds.’
’… We want to create a new rite of passage, National Citizen Service, which will bring 16-year-olds together from all different backgrounds to give them the skills and confidence to make a difference in their communities.
‘… move towards the Government’s ultimate goal to make this a rite of passage and give every 16-year-old the chance to get involved’.
The Government’s ambition is to make NCS available to all 16-year-olds so that it becomes a rite of passage …’
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:“I want National Citizen Service to become a rite of passage into society and an experience that young people share regardless of their background or where they live in England.
A ‘key point of transition’
‘National Citizen Service is designed to promote: ... a more responsible society by supporting the transition into adulthood for young people’.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said, after NCS, ‘The next generation will be ready to use the massive devolution of power to communities that underpins the Big Society’ .
They will gain valuable life experience and new skills, make friends from all walks of life and prepare themselves for their futures – while playing a part in making their communities better
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said: “Young people are our future, and we need to harness their energy, enthusiasm and motivation at an early age so that we can motivate them to make a difference for themselves and to the lives of those around them in their communities.”
Above all it’s going to inspire a generation of young people to appreciate what they can achieve and how they can be part of the Big Society
NCS will act as a gateway to the Big Society for many young people, by supporting them to develop the skills and attitudes they need to get more engaged with their communities and become active and responsible citizens