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Students Promoting Active Citizenship in Europe
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The SPACE Award has been developed as a response to the concern that young people are becoming increasingly disenfranchised in Europe today and that the turnout at elections is especially low in 18 - 24 year olds across Europe. In many European countries including Britain, there is a sense that young people are disengaging with the political process. Young adults are less likely to vote, there is a lowering of the registration to vote in some countries and movements are growing to encourage young people to abstain rather than engage. If left to continue, this lack of engagement has the potential to destabilise countries. In the current political climate, therefore, there is a clear imperative to tackle this problem to ensure young people see the importance of participation in the political process and are able to use their voice positively and become active citizens. The six project partners will all be working with a range of other partners locally, regionally and in later stages of the project, also nationally and transnationally, meaning that there will be a very large number of indirect participants due to the multiplier effect planned into the project. The SPACE Award is a student citizenship package that aims to develop young people's understanding of democratic processes. It offers an accessible framework for student councils and committees from which young people can learn how to create and build an effective student council. This project aims: • To promote young people’s active participation and understanding of the democratic process • To develop effective student councils. • To embed young people's understanding of council roles and responsibilities • To enable young people to articulate their own point of view and understand others’ points of view • To promote understanding and respect • To develop student leadership • To give young people an understanding of their place in the world as a member of their own country and as a European citizen • To develop transferable skills to prepare young people for the work place The project will develop a set of criteria to allow students to develop a range of skills over time. The criteria builds from Bronze, to Silver to Gold so that students can refine and develop their skills. The criteria builds from basic skills in terms of running and leading a student council to more far reaching skills that include the local community and beyond. Once Gold is achieved students can then train to be assessors of other schools and colleges working towards their Award. This allows for a roll out of the Award to partner schools and encourages links between schools as well as links with International Partner schools. The Award will develop student leadership skills. As more schools achieve the Gold Award, Award ceremony events will take place to further promote the Award. Assessments would be undertaken again after three years to ensure that students continued to monitor and evaluate their practice and to allow for a change in student membership as well as ensuring sustainability. There is also potential for a Platinum Award at a later stage of development. The SPACE Award is a complete package with interactive tools that can be utilised by schools and colleges and tailored to individual organisations; for example, all materials will be written in the home language. Materials will be reproduceable and can be shared with other colleagues. Schools will develop effective student councils • Students will be empowered to lead their own councils • Students will be supported to deliver training to partner schools/colleges/institutions on the programme • Students will be trained as assessors for other schools/colleges/institutions • A set of measurable common criteria will be used to measure and recognise the work of effective student councils. • Students will have a greater understanding of the democratic process and how to actively engage to effect change • Students will develop their leadership skills and acquire The Award is closely linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and meets the requirement to inform all children of these rights.
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