Jonathan Tonge, Chair
Jonathan Tonge is Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool and Chair of the Youth Citizenship Commission. He also works in charity projects and helps immigrant students from economically underdeveloped countries to adapt. In some cases, its programs provide support for new students from moving an English-speaking country to entering a university for educational or social programs. Some of the students can additionally get individual characteristics due to the opportunity pay for letter of recommendation. Professor Tonge has written extensively on various aspects of British and Irish politics, publishing 14 books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters. He has co-edited studies of the last three general elections, published by Manchester University Press and Palgrave Press and a study of the 2010 contest for Parliamentary Affairs and Oxford University Press. A regular television and radio broadcaster, Jon sits on the editorial boards of Parliamentary Affairs, Politics Review and Irish Political Studies.
Philip Cowley, Vice Chair
Philip Cowley is Professor of Parliamentary Government at the University of Nottingham. He is convenor of the Political Studies Association’s specialist group on elections, public opinion and parties, and he runs the website www.revolts.co.uk.
Ray Auvray is Prospects’ Executive Chairman, having led the Prospects Group since its establishment in 1995. He has successfully grown the Group to a national organisation with a turnover of £52 million, employing 1,100 staff and 400 consultants delivering a wide range of youth education, training and employment services. Ray is a graduate of Reading University and undertook further studies at the University of East London, commencing his career in teaching before moving into local authority administration. For eleven years, Ray headed the London Borough of Havering Careers Service. Ray understands the Local Authority perspective well, having served for a number of years as a Basildon District Councillor, Essex County Councillor, was a member of Essex Police Authority and was twice a parliamentary candidate. Ray has served on a number of national Careers Service advisory bodies and is also a Board Director of a number of companies and has other business interests.
Justin Cole was the 2007/08 Young Mayor for Lewisham. He is 17 years old. His message to other young people on the issues that matter to them in Lewisham is – “Young people are very concerned about crime. Underachievement is also a problem, especially amongst young Afro-Caribbean males. I have been working on the Black People’s achievement programme, which looks at why young black men underachieve. I am concerned about youth violence and crime, the gradual erosion of societal and family values, the state of our schools and the inadequacy of recreational opportunities for young people.”
Victoria is an active member of the Claim Your Voice advisory group and often finds herself travelling around England promoting the project to young people. Victoria volunteers with Chester-le-Street’s young homeless project and delivers workshops in schools to raise awareness of youth homelessness to schoolchildren. Victoria planned and delivered a one-day event for young people in Sunderland to offer them the opportunity to meet with local decision-makers to discuss issues close to young people’s hearts.
Richard is a teacher at Whalley Range 11-18 High School, a girls’ school in inner city Manchester, coordinating the citizenship and PSHE provision across key stages 3, 4 & 5. He also works part-time as a freelance consultant in post-16 citizenship, predominantly for the Learning & Skills Network (LSN) Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme. The LSN (formerly the LSDA) ran a very successful post-16 citizenship development programme for 5 years. The LSN now runs a series of regional training events which Richard manages and coordinates in the North West.
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson
Britain’s greatest ever paralympic athlete, Tanni Grey-Thompson crowned a magnificent career with two gold medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. It took her remarkable medal haul over 16 years and five Paralympic Games to 11 gold, 3 silver and a bronze. Born with spina bifida and needing to use a wheelchair from the age of seven, Tanni began wheelchair racing at 13. At 17 she started her competitive career. As well as her Paralympic success, she won the London Wheelchair Marathon in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2002, when she competed just three months after giving birth to daughter Carys. Tanni’s enthusiasm and determination has made her an international sporting hero and increased the public’s awareness of Paralympic sports.
Away from the track, she has played an active role in administration. She is the Vice- President of the Women’s Sports Foundation, a member of the United Kingdom Sports Council, a patron of the British Sports Trust and she was a member of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. In 2003 Tanni was awarded the Freedom of the City of Cardiff. In 2005 she was created ‘Dame’ Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE for her services to sport.
Robyn is one of the three young Commissioners and also sits on the Commission’s Youth Advisory Board. She was part of various young people’s panels in her local area, and with the help of a local organisation founded a young person’s consultancy. As a young consultant, she works with youth practitioners to develop their services in light of an initiative that encourages mentoring support. Robyn is passionate about equipping organisations to engage and support young people in new ways, and mentors a number of young people herself.
Anne Longfield has worked extensively in the arena of policy and services for children, young people and families for almost 25 years. Chief Executive of 4Children for the last 14 years, Anne has played a leading role in influencing both thinking and delivery of support for young people and wider communities. Under her leadership, 4Children has become a major charity for change for children and young people shaping and delivering solutions nationally and locally. Anne has held a number of Advisor roles to Government including a period in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit at the Cabinet Office. Anne received an OBE in recognition of her contribution to young people in the millennium honours.
Dr. Andrew Mycock is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Huddersfield. His key research and teaching interests focus on post-imperial citizenship and national identity, particularly in the UK and the Russian Federation, and the impact of citizenship and history education programmes on young people. He is a founding member of the Academy for the Study of Britishness based at Huddersfield and co-convenor of the Political Studies Association’s specialist group on Britishness. He regularly contributes to public debate in local, regional and national media, and is also involved in a number of youth projects in West Yorkshire.
Hazel is a recently qualified teacher working just outside Brighton. She is the Brighton and Hove Young Teacher’s Officer for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), and is the NUT’s delegate on the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Young Member’s Forum. This forum is made up of young worker representatives (aged 26 and under) from affiliated trade unions, and she was recently elected Vice Chair of the Forum.
Miranda Sawyer started her career at Smash Hits, before moving on to Select Magazine where she won the PPA Magazine Writer of the Year Award in 1993, the youngest person ever to do so. A contracted feature writer for The Observer for over fifteen years, she is the paper’s radio critic and writes the lead column for the Observer Music Monthly. Miranda has made several documentaries for Channel 4, including one on the age of consent. She is a regular on Newsnight Review and The Culture Show, was on the judging panel for the 2007 Turner Prize and is a member of the Tate Members’ Council. Her first book, Park And Ride, was published by Little, Brown, & Company in 1999, and has been reprinted in paperback several times since.
Wes Streeting was President of the National Union of Students between 2008 & 2010. He was elected to the post with a convincing majority, having previously served for two years as the union’s Vice-President for Education. Wes read history at Selwyn College, Cambridge and was President of Cambridge University Students’ Union from 2004-5 before being elected to the NUS National Executive Committee as a non-portfolio member for 2005-6. Wes has a strong interest in education policy, particularly on widening participation, and has held a number of positions within the higher education sector, notably membership of the ‘Burgess Group’ on measuring and recording student achievement. He has since moved on to become a Labour Party Councillor for the Chadwell ward on the Redbridge London Borough Council