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ESSA (English Secondary Students Association) has just launched a really exciting initiative in partnership with Channel 4, that asks students to submit videos of their views of education in the UK.

ESSA (English Secondary Students Association) has just launched a really exciting initiative in partnership with Channel 4, that asks students to submit videos of their views of education in the UK.

So-called 'student voice' in schools all too often results in successful students confirming or repeating the agendas of the adults in their school, in what has become known as 'ventriloquism'. Real voices of real students (and not just those who are succeeding in the school environment) are hard for adults in schools to access even where the intentions are genuine and the processes thought through.

This is why ESSA's initiative is so exciting. ESSA, founded by RSA Fellow Rajeeb Dey, is a charity run for students by students (and this it staken seriously - their board of trustees are all aged between 11 and 19) and supports young people of secondary age to exercise real student voice, and to take action in their schools on issues they care about.

This time they are asking students to submit up to 3 min videos for their chance to appear on Channel 4 and win an award and prizes including exclusive training opportunities with media professionals from PR agency Porter Novelli; Channel 4; Form Films etc. The findings will be fed into a Manifesto to present at party conferences in Autumn.

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