On Friday 23 November, children from a Chipping Campden primary school will be taking over Court Barn Museum for the day. The activities are being organised as part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2012, a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which gives children and young people the chance to shadow jobs, get involved in decision-making and offer their opinions on key issues.

30 school children from St James’ Primary School will spend the day putting on an exhibition, creating trails at the Museum and running the admissions and shop area. Kieran, 9.who is taking part in the event, said “I am really looking forward to going behind the scenes, setting up our display and being the boss!”

Sarah McCormick Healy, curator: “We are delighted to be working with St James’ school on Takeover Day. It is a fantastic opportunity for young people to see how a Museum is run and be part of the decision-making process. It is also very beneficial for the Museum as it reminds us about the importance of getting young people’s views and perspectives. Having young people on site will make us consider what we were doing more carefully. We are really looking forward to the day!”

Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England said: “I am very excited about 2012’s Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day and I look forward to hearing about what people are doing. I especially want those children who do not normally have their voices heard by adults in charge to be involved. The day provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make a difference to their schools and communities, put their views across and challenge the stereotypes about them that we hear too often. Children and young people have so much to offer. They bring ideas, imagination and energy which can really make a difference to organisations.

“I am urging everybody to be brave enough to get children and young people into decision making. More importantly, try to make the day part of ongoing, not one-day-only, involvement of young citizens in your work.”

This year the Children’s Commissioner for England hopes 50,000 children and young people around the country will be part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day. Numerous organisations have already signed up.

In 2011 thousands of children and young people worked with organisations including businesses, schools, police and fire services, newspapers, broadcasters, local councils, MPs, dozens of museums, charities and Government departments. Everyone got involved from the BBC to the Metro newspaper, Royal British Legion and even the Deputy Prime Minister!

1. To find out about Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day events around the country, go to: www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/takeover_day

2. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is a national organisation led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dr Maggie Atkinson. The post of Children’s Commissioner for England was established by the Children Act 2004. It requires us to refer to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when planning and carrying out our work. The Children’s Commissioner has a duty to promote the views and interests of all children in England, in particular those whose voices are least likely to be heard, to the people who make decisions about their lives.

Court Barn Museum, Church Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6JE

Admission charges
Adults £4; Concessions (students, senior citizens) £3.25; Children under 16 are free
Opening times
April – September: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 – 5pm
October – March: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 – 4pm
Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays) and Closed 24 Dec, reopening second Tuesday in January.

Court Barn Museum is an independent museum and the brainchild of a group of local enthusiasts called the Guild of Handicraft Trust. The museum was created through the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and monies raised by the Guild of Handicraft Trust.

This groundbreaking museum, situated in the Cotswold town of Chipping Campden, tells the story of how a small town, in a beautiful setting, became a gathering place for creative people at the start of the 20th Century and continues to attract designers and makers today. Highlights include work by C.R. Ashbee, F.L Griggs and Katharine Adams.

Source: Court Barn Museum