Skip to main content

Departmental Public Participation

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many citizens' juries his Department has held since 1 July 2007; what the cost was of each; what issues were discussed at each event; and how many (a) Ministers and (b) members of the public attended each event. (227484)

The Department for Children Schools and Families has conducted one citizens' jury and 11 related deliberative debates since 1 July 2007 to ensure that the views of parents and young people were reflected in the development and implementation of the Children's Plan.

The Department organised a citizens’ jury at Bristol Brunei Academy on 6 September 2007 at a cost of £57,047 including VAT. 38 people participated, including children, young people and teachers from the academy; and parents and local practitioners working with children. The event focused on education and children services and was attended by two Ministers.

The Department followed this citizens’ jury with three sets of deliberative debates with members of the public and education professionals.

The first set of deliberative debates was held on 29 September 2007, with four events running simultaneously in London, Leeds, Portsmouth and Birmingham. These events formed part of the consultative process for the Children's Plan. The total cost of the events was £467,704 including VAT. Around 400 young people, parents, teachers and those working with children and young people were involved. A Minister was present at each of the events.

The second set was held on 8 March 2008, with four events again running in London, Leeds, Portsmouth and Birmingham. The events focused on policy areas in the Children's Plan. The events cost £296,026 including VAT. Around 240 people attended, including parents, young people and educational professionals. A Minister was present at each of the events.

The last set took place on 13 September 2008 at a cost of £551,013. The events were held in London, Leeds and Birmingham and were attended by around 300 people including parents, local practitioners and representatives of stakeholder organisations. The themes discussed were Parents as Partners in Learning; the Childcare Strategy and Parental Complaints. Five Ministers attended the events.