Broadhembury Primary School pupils visit a mock grotty café to learn about food hygiene and health and safety

Schoolchildren experience life at their local council and learn how public service decisions are made

Children from five East Devon primary schools today (Friday 24 November 2017) had the chance to experience first-hand how their local district council is run. The 49 pupils, aged 10 to 11 years, who visited East Devon District Council’s offices at Knowle in Sidmouth, were taking part in national Takeover Challenge Day, which aims to get children and young people involved with how public service decisions are made. It also provides organisations, such as local authorities, with a fresh perspective on the services they run.

The primary schools taking part were:
Littleham Church of England Primary School, Exmouth
Broadhembury Church of England Primary School
Tipton St John Church of England Primary
Upottery Primary School
Plymtree Church of England Primary School

Throughout the day children participated in a number of activities, including mock food hygiene inspections and recycling workshops. The council’s Chairman, Councillor Andrew Moulding, joined staff and children for part of the day in a special mock council meeting.

Meanwhile staff from the council’s Housing team worked with the children to discover what was important about their communities and plan a community festival. 

Elsewhere ‘Sam ‘n’ Ella’s’ mock grotty café kitchen allowed pupils to play detective and to spot potential food hygiene and health and safety hazards. The café scene featured the owner’s own interesting interpretation of personal hygiene in a kitchen and helped demonstrate the work undertaken by the council when inspecting restaurants and food premises. It also encouraged the youngsters to be more aware of risks at home.

The Waste and Recycling team worked with pupils to teach them about how different countries trade resources and how everyone should recycle more and waste less.

Followers of the council’s Twitter  and Facebook accounts were also able to see events unfold throughout the day, with picture updates posted under the hashtag #TakeoverChallenge.

East Devon District Council Chairman, Councillor Andrew Moulding, said:

This is the seventh time we have held this event and asked children from local schools into the council to experience some of our services. It’s always a day that’s thoroughly enjoyed by councillors, the children, teachers and council staff involved. Thank you to all the schools that came along this year and made it the fantastic day that it was by participating so well.