All initiatives in schools/colleges need a champion, and the Senior Ambassador is that, but they shouldn’t be doing all the work. At it’s heart EPAS needs to be student-led.

In our second Senior Ambassador training of the European Parliament Ambassador School (EPAS) programme we looked at the split in roles between Senior and Junior Ambassadors, how to recruit Junior Ambassadors and what opportunities are available from the European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO).

We heard from Charlotte Richer, Senior Ambassador at The Cherwell School, and three of her Junior Ambassadors on why they had got involved, what projects they’ve been working on and what they’re getting out of it.

You can watch yesterday’s training below:

You can see ideas and resources from last year’s training on recruiting Junior Ambassadors here: Recruiting Junior Ambassadors – 2nd Senior Ambassador Training

Roles and responsibilities

Senior Ambassadors

  • Staff member(s)
  • Main point of contact with Involver & EPLO
  • Create the space and time for Junior Ambassadors to work
  • Recruit Junior Ambassadors
  • Help co-ordinate with other staff members
  • Get events into the school/college calendar

Junior Ambassadors

  • Students/learners
  • Decide on what projects/events to run: based on their interests
  • Plan and run events
  • May be involved for the whole year or just to carry out a specific project

Recruitment and timing

Most schools/colleges don’t have a dedicated time for EPAS, it is run as a club or extra-curricular activity. Students are recruited on the basis of interest, but this needn’t simply be interest in the EU and Europe. Some of the types of activities that have encouraged students to get involved:

  • Debating: organising or participating in a a debate on an European issue, or issue in with the European Parliament plays a role.
  • Drama: putting on a performance inspired by an historical European event.
  • Art & Design: creating European-inspired art work for an exhibition or InfoPoint.
  • Languages: using language skills to teach others or connect with students in other schools that use those languages.
  • Film and Media: putting on screenings and discussions of European films and TV programmes.
  • Food: cultural events often involve sharing the culinary delights of other people and countries, so this is central to lots of EPAS activities.
  • Sport: a huge part of European culture; schools have created Euros-style competitions where teams represent different European nations, competing with each other and learning about those countries at the same time.
  • Politics and activism: at the heart of EPAS we want young people to understand how they can impact the world around them. For some this is the direct entry point: they want to find out more about the EU, how UK/EU policy will affect what jobs they can get, or how they can influence policy around the climate crisis.

Working with other staff and departments

From the list above it should be clear how many aspects of school life can be part of EPAS. It may be that there are events already planned that can contribute to your EPAS accreditation and that could be enhanced by bringing in a European aspect.

As well as teachers from Modern Studies, Languages, Politics, Citizenship, Art, Drama, Media Studies, Business, Travel & Tourism, Catering, and PE departments, you could also look to kitchen staff to create a European menu or reception staff to welcome people in other European languages – especially if they are native speakers.

For activities to be considered part of your EPAS accreditation they should:

  • Be primarily organised and run by students
  • Have a European link