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My name is Najwa and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to partake in the Whitehall Takeover Challenge.

Last week I went to the Social Care Team within the Department for Education and shadowed Graham Archer who was an engaging character to follow during his busy schedule. We went to a meeting with all the heads of local authorities who had many complex but significant discussions.

The experience was such a positive one that they offered me to come back again and visit another department.

Which leads to Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and her lovely and welcoming team. After initial introductions, I sat with Anne herself and I enquired about the issue regarding the low number of care kids in further education, and why that might be the case.

Anne said she was going to use my idea to collect data from each local authority and compare the difference in order to work out why there aren’t as many care kids in university compared to those who weren’t in the same situation whilst growing up.

To conclude the eventful day I participated in the Expert Round Table on Inclusive Education with Nadhim Zahawi MP, who I encountered last week.

The Takeover Challenge puts children and young people into real-life decision-making positions in organisations. Children gain a valuable insight and gain experience of a workplace, while organisations benefit from a fresh perspective on their work.

In the last two years alone, thousands of children have taken part – stepping into the shoes of a wide range of adult jobs including everything from MPs, mayors, TV presenters and teachers to chief executives, business leaders and government officials.

About the author
Najwa participated in 2018’s Whitehall Takeover Challenge
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