Students inspired by #UpForSchool event help UK school collect 1000 petition signatures

Up for School or #upforschool campaign

A school whose students were inspired by the #UpForSchool youth rally in London has become the first in the United Kingdom to complete the 1000 signatures challenge.

Kelvin Hall School in Hull collected signatures for the #UpForSchool Petition in just three weeks. The pupils showed their determination to help build the biggest petition in history, which demands that world leaders take immediate action to get every girl and boy into school, without danger or discrimination.

At the end of November, 11 students travelled down to London from Hull for the UK launch of the #UpForSchool Petition. They were so inspired by the event, which saw powerful speeches from people who have dedicated their lives to fight for the rights of every child to have an education, that they took the petition back to their school and started gathering signatures immediately. And very quickly they had met the A World at School challenge for individuals, schools and organisations to collect 1000 signatures.

Tyler Mulligan, 15, said: “Hearing stories from severely disadvantaged children around the world at the #UpForSchool launch event in London has made me far more appreciative of the life chance I’ve been given as a secondary school student in this country.”

This contribution from Kevin Hall School and people all over the world who are joining this petition demonstrates the unprecedented public support for the 58 million children currently excluded from school because they are child labourers, brides, discriminated against and exploited. There is also growing outrage over the increasing numbers of attacks on schools.

Emily Foreman, 14, who helped organise the petition in the school said: “Speaking in assemblies about #UpForSchool and asking fellow students, as well as staff members, to sign the petition brought the whole school together.

“Everyone instantly wanted to get on board and be part of the movement. It feels brilliant that we’ve added 1000 signatures as a school community and done something that will hopefully go towards helping some of the most vulnerable children in the world today. I think the whole process has made a lot of us here realise how, in 2014, any young person, no matter where they live or what their social status, can step up and be part of a global call to action.”

Teacher Ollie Wilsea said: ‘”I was enormously keen to help support the #UpForSchool campaign. I vehemently believe every child should be given a proper chance in life, no matter where they’re born.  As a teacher, I know only too well how important education is in developing a young child into a self-sufficient adult. I’ve seen first-hand how learning can not only improve a student’s academic performance but also fill that child with a sense of belonging, confidence and purpose.’

“After spreading the word to fellow staff members, my colleagues were massively enthusiastic about the petition like myself. We particularly wanted to use it as an opportunity to provide our students with a much deeper insight into the lives of children in other countries. A lot of us amongst the teaching staff team feel it very worthwhile to help young people gain a far stronger and better informed global awareness.

“Once presented with the facts, our students were equally as willing as us to sign the petition. They were hugely saddened to hear of the stories from specific individuals their own age who have suffered as a result of not receiving an education.”

A teachers' toolkit is now available, including ways for schools and students to get involved to help make #UpForSchool the world’s largest petition. Download the kit here.

You can sign the petition here.

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