AROUND 600 Glasgow schoolchildren attended the city’s first ever ‘pupil conference’ in a bid to make their voices heard.

Young people from Hyndland Secondary in the West End ran proceedings, which included the launch of the Manifesto for a Fairer Future.

The document aims to help pupils shape key decisions affecting them and highlight the importance of active citizenship and leadership.

Amjed Madkhali, a second year pupil at Hyndland Secondary School who gave a speech about religious equality, said: “Today’s conference was great. I believe everyone should be treated equally despite their religion and every religion should be respected. Today gave us a chance to express our views.”

Glasgow Times: Around 600 young people from schools across the city attended the eventAround 600 young people from schools across the city attended the event (Image: Colin Mearns/Newsquest)

Fellow second year Omar Mualla said: “I feel really proud and happy that we spoke in front of nearly 600 people today. It feels special to be part of an event like this, the first of its kind. I felt everyone in the hall was empowered to stand up for what they believe in.”

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Lexie Munro, who is in third year at Hyndland Secondary said: “Change means making action instead of keeping your voice hidden. This conference was a great experience. I really enjoyed creating this manifesto and being part of something so important to Glasgow.”

Fellow third year Hugo Chen said: “Everybody should have an equal school experience.”

Glasgow Times: The event also included the launch of the pupils' Manifesto for a Fairer FutureThe event also included the launch of the pupils' Manifesto for a Fairer Future (Image: Colin Mearns/Newsquest)

The conference, opened by Glasgow’s executive director of education, Douglas Hutchison was “pupil power in action”, he said.

He added: “Our pupils are incredible, and this was a conference by young people for young people. Some of the areas of concern and solutions that they come up with will be uncomfortable for some people, but we need to challenge people’s thinking.

“This is the only way that we will see tangible change and to better meet the needs of our children and young people. We need to listen to them and continue to listen to them.”

After keynote speakers and entertainment from St Andrew’s Secondary school iPad band – with a brilliant rendition of Blame it on the Boogie - the young people took part in a variety of workshops including one on education services’ new anti-racism charter.

Councillor Christina Cannon, the city’s education convener, said: “The most important thing that that I wanted to get across to the young people was that they have the power to shape and influence change.

“They must use this power to make adults listen to them and the inaugural pupil conference gave them the platform to make their voices heard loud and clear.

“It was so encouraging to see how confident and committed the young people are in tackling subjects that are close to their hearts. They are a force to be reckoned with and this is a good thing.”

Hazel Goodfellow, Head of People at the SEC, said: “The Scottish Event Campus has a well-established track record of inspiring young people from primary school age onwards into the thriving events industry via our long-standing SEC Learning Journey and Workaware initiatives, which have supported nearly 1000 children in the last year alone.

“We’re delighted to have facilitated the Glasgow Pupils Conference and we look forward to working with the city and our delivery partners on future events of this kind.”