Only 3 days left to have your say on the role of faith and grammar schools in education in England

The Government wants to know what you’d like from the education system. Represent.me has made it REALLY easy for you to tell them.

I don’t know if you’ve ever taken part in a Government consultation before (most people haven’t) but they are curiously hard to engage with. Piece-by-piece it’s all very reasonable, but together it all adds up to a very overwhelming and huge experience.

First you have to read through the 36 page document to find out what the policies are, and then you’re given 34 questions to answer. The only options are ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, and then a text area to type your comments. The result is that to engage at all you have to do a lot of thinking.

We believe there’s a better way for people to be involved in making decisions about the future of their country. Without further ado, here it is. We’ll tell you more below.

Why is Represent doing this?

It’s our job! Represent is a citizen-first decision making and democracy platform, making public participation in governance and organising more straight-forward.

Why is this better than submitting evidence directly on the Government website?

In short: Represent makes it easier, faster, and removes the need to think quite as much.

Take this example question from the : “Are there other ways in which universities could be asked to contribute to raising school-level attainment?”

On the Government website this is a ‘yes / no’ with a textarea. Take a moment to think how you’d answer that.

It’s hard, right? It’s massively open-ended, and has a lot of assumptions in the question.

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-17-02-03

We turn that into these questions, each of which has a comment section below. It’s more questions, but it’s much faster to think about and answer, and provides more prompts for thoughts.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-15-45-17
screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-15-45-09
screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-15-45-24
screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-15-46-04

What do we do with the data?

We analyse it and submit it to the Government as part of their inquiry. We have a relationship with them which lets them accept submissions direct from Represent as a channel for public representation.

But it doesn’t stop there: because you’ve answered on Represent it’s automatically aggregated and shown to your MP, your local authority, and other agencies who can help deliver what you want. Naturally you don’t want spam, and your security comes first so no one can contact you directly via Represent until you permit them to.

What comes next?

As regards this Inquiry, we’ll

  • write up a report
  • submit it to Parliament
  • publish the report here on the blog
  • make all of the data open so you can use it to show your MP or local authority

As regards our work generally, we are continuing to work with Parliament and Government on other inquiries, as well as local and national democracy here in the UK and abroad.


Like what you see? If you would like to donate to our work developing a model of citizen-first democracy, we’d really appreciate that!


Originally published at Represent.

Like what you read? Give Ed Dowding a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.