Inspire, Debate, Change

Inform and inspire the next generation of politically engaged citizens through workshops with young people in Southampton. APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW!

Informaton icon Inform and inspire the next generation of politically engaged citizens through workshops with young people in Southampton. APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW!

Location icon Southampton

Clock icon Flexible

What is Inspire, Debate, Change

Inspire, Debate, Change aims to support young people to feel more informed about the political system, confident in explaining, debating and defending their opinions, and more inspired to make change in their local communities and beyond. This project was piloted virtually in Spring 2021 and we successfully launch as an in-person project in Spring 2022.

The project consists of a programme of six workshops based around key political concepts, such as:

  • Democracy, rights and responsibilities,

  • Voting and elections,

  • Parliament and debate

  • Making change.

Why do we run Inspire, Debate Change?

There is a decline in schools teaching Citizenship due to growing numbers of academies and free schools not using the curriculum and cuts reducing capacity to deliver ‘non-compulsory’ subjects. In a recent Ofsted report on how schools respond to financial pressure it uncovered that for secondary schools, Citizenship was often a subject which suffered.

Citizenship education is not compulsory in KS2 becuase pupils are considered too young to engage in the topic. There is also strong evidence that children under the age of 11 engage with, and can be inspired by, a civil education. “Children are already forming through learning and discussion, concepts of fairness, and attitudes to the law, to rules, to decision-making, to authority, to their local environment and social responsibility etc. All this can be encouraged, guided and built upon.”

There isn't specialised training given to teachers to deliver citizenship education. Dedicated Citizenship teachers have been declining since 2011. By offering workshops led by trained students, we can give standardised information to primary-aged pupils in the city to ensure a well informed, and well designed introduction to Citizenship.

Young people from low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to lack the knowledge and interest to engage in politics and citizenship. In 2017 it was found 29% of MPs went to private school whilst only around 7% of the population attend private school. It is clear that the political arena is in danger of being dominated by people from more advantaged backgrounds, despite politics affecting everyone. We work with state schools identified through pupil premium and ESL provision, as per our partners for our other youth programmes. Educational inequality exists in the UK and Student Hubs is committed to supporting the young people, and schools who need it most.

What is the role?

We're looking for student volunteers that have an interest in politics and citizenship and are passionate about tackling educational disadvantage. You will be supporting and/or leading political education workshops for ages 9-13 around Southampton.

This project won't cost you! We reimburse all travel expenses and DBS checks for volunteers on our projects.

Skills and employability

Communication, teamwork, leadership, adaptability, time management, safeguarding, school liaison, behaviour management, tutoring, academic support, pastoral support and working with external staff are all skills you will gain by taking part in Inspire, Debate, Change.

Reasonable adjustments

Inspire, Debate, Change is committed to being an inclusive programme, and encourages all students to get involved. We can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, selection workshops, training sessions, your volunteering placement, and other activities on a case-by-case basis. We also provide ongoing support for the students we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, including if you want to disclose a disability or special educational needs, please do get in touch with Catherine at and let us know how we can make the activity more accessible.


Email who will be able to answer any questions you may have about the project.

Strategic Partner

Strategic Partner

Strategic Partner