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Celebrating AGENDA’s first steps

18 July 2017

AGENDA Postcard

The Educating AGENDA conference was held in Cardiff recently to celebrate the first steps that the guide is taking to help young people to raise awareness of sexuality issues in their schools.

Speakers at the conference included the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland; Rhian Bowen-Davies, Wales’s National Adviser for Violence Against Women; and the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams.

Led by Professor Emma Renold, Agenda is a free online guide, developed with and for young people, to provide ideas and resources on how they can safely and creatively speak out about and challenge gender inequalities and gender-based and sexual violence.

Agenda What Jars You
What jars you?

Agenda is Wales, and the UK’s, only online tool-kit produced in partnership with young people for young people. It is a free, bi-lingual resource and can be read online or downloaded from the AGENDA website, along with a range of extra resources including postcards and posters.

During the conference, Professor Renold reported on the impact Agenda has had so far, including workshops at the Welsh Women’s Aid conference, police training and International Women’s Day events.

Since its launch in November, schools and youth groups have embraced Agenda, with drama performances, public speaking, and other events.

Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education, receives messages from primary school pupils
Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education, receives messages from primary school pupils

During the conference, students from schools across the country gave performances inspired by their roles as Agenda ambassadors, including drama productions, original compositions and art projects.

This included a performance by 13-year-old Charlie of 'Face to Face', a song she wrote about respect, ambivalence and the challenges of growing up. Charlie's performance was followed by the screening of a short film by Lauren of Tonyrefail School which chronicled the impact of contemporary society on understandings of LGBTQI identities.

Throughout the day, teachers and professionals were given presentations and training on Agenda topics including feminist activism; healthy relationships; LGBT rights; selfie culture; digital gaming and more.

GCSE Art Project Lauren Agenda
A GCSE art project by Lauren from Tonyrefail School, showing the impact of labelling

The Educating AGENDA conference was sponsored by Cardiff University and the Women’s Equality Network Wales (WEN Wales), and supported by NSPCC/Cymru, Welsh Women’s Aid, and Hafan Cymru’s Spectrum Prioject.

Professor Renold is now the chair of the expert advisory group on developing healthy relationships education resources for Wales. Set up by Kirsty Williams, the panel will provide advice and support on issues relating to the delivery of healthy relationships education within the curriculum.

Read a blog about the day.

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