Before you start
Prepare by printing and cutting out the Decisions and Ministers cards attached. Print and cut enough decision cards for your group.
Share with the group the following definitions to help them understand the language we are going to use:
- Prime Minister – Head of government. Responsible for governments policy and decisions.
- Government Policy – a course of actions/things to be done to achieve a specific goal. For example a policy on better roads would set out how the government is going to create what they think better roads are. This could include creating laws or legislation.
- MPs/ Members of Parliament – elected by areas to represent them. They belong to political parties. Different political parties have different policies depending on what they believe.
- Secretaries of state or Cabinet Ministers- These are MPs that have been given a special job by the prime minister. They are responsible for departments that look at things like defence, health and transport. They work on policy related to their area and might have other ministers to assist them.
- Ministers – While secretaries of state are ministers, there could also be ministers that work across departments on certain areas and policies.
- Legislation – Law or set of laws set by the UK parliament.
What to do
Have the group take it in turns to turn over one of the decision and ministers cards and then discuss if they think they match, that the minister/secretary of state has influence over that decision.
There might be some that are ambiguous and parts of that decision might be influenced by different ministers e.g Where you go to school might be influenced by the Minister of Education but also by the Minister of Housing. Let the young people discuss and decide how they want to match the cards but the below matchings will help.
- What you learn in school – Secretary of State for Education
- Where you can go to the doctor – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- Where you can go to the dentist – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- How much it costs to take the bus – Secretary of state for transport
- What you eat for lunch at school – Secretary of State for Education
- Who you can talk to if you feel sad – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- Where you go to school – Secretary of State for Education
- Who looks after people younger than you – Secretary of State for Education
- Where you can live – Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities
- How much you get paid as a 16 year old – Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy
- What are British Values and how they are taught – Secretary of State for the Home Office
- What support you get as a young refugee – Secretary of State for the Home Office
- Who looks after you if your parents cannot – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- What safety measures are in place to protect you, your family and home against environmental disasters – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- If you are allowed to /how you are allowed to protest – Secretary of State for Justice
- What happens to you or your friends if you break the law – Secretary of State for Justice
- How much you weigh before you are considered ‘at risk’ or ‘unhealthy’ – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- If you can wear a religious symbol or clothing to school/ in public – Minister for Faith
- If you can get British nationality – Secretary of State for the Home Office
The matching game has shown how many of our decisions and our activities in our daily lives are influenced by ministers and policies. As these affect children and young people, children and young people should have a say in them.
Ask the Venturers what they know about the Children’s Alliance?
Explain that the Children’s Alliance is a group made up of lots of different organisations, including Woodcraft Folk. It does research on how children and young people are currently affected and need to be supported more in policy relating to early years, mental health, physical health and their family and community. They have done lots of work and come up with some policy recommendations that prioritise and centre the needs of children and young people.
One suggestion they have to implement these recommendations is to create a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People. This Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People will ensure that children’s needs are at the heart of policy in all Government Departments.
What do the venturers think of this idea?
One thing the Alliance is missing at the moment in the youth voice. This is what we would like the young people to contribute.
The Children’s Alliance, while they are asking for a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People to represent your needs, have also come up with a huge amount of policy recommendations. While all of these are worthwhile, we want to hear from you about which of these you would like to be prioritised.
Diamond Ranking Activity
In order to do this we would like you to do some diamond ranking. Have the young people go in groups of 2 or 3 and give them nine priorities to rank in the following diamond formation:
Other related resources:
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
UK Parliament week resources including short films, quizzes and more