In the summer of 2019 the Chelmsford Teaching Schools Alliance staged their first ever Young Persons’ Conference. The event was attended by over 100 children from 17 primary schools, 29 teaching staff, 15 sixth formers from Chelmer Valley High School, the Mayor of Chelmsford, the Right Honourable Vicky Ford MP, Eddie the Eagle from Colchester United and Dawn Wood, one of only three woman to row single handedly across the Atlantic Ocean.

The afternoon was underpinned by five key areas for discussion, the Environment, Education, Community, Aspiration and Infrastructure.  The children had been busily working and discussing these areas with their peers back in their own schools and came to the conference armed with ideas and results from these discussions.

The children shared the outcomes from their individual schools at the event,  and the key messages and suggestions were then relayed to the appropriate local council representatives. We were delighted when we were subsequently contacted by the council Sustainability and Resilience team and asked to contribute to the development of the Essex Plastic Pledge, which launched earlier this year. Significantly reducing single use plastic, and encouraging reuse and recycling was a key theme that emerged from the conference.

For more information about the Plastic Pledge, and to sign up as a school or organisation go to