TIC TAC encourages pupil involvement in the service and has an active pupil representative committee. The Pupil Group are involved in many aspects of the service, from publicity and decoration to providing feedback and ideas. Pupil Group representatives also attend the lunch sessions at the Beacon Learning Activity Days where they can speak to visitors about TIC TAC and answer any questions that may arise.
Representatives of the Pupil Group attend the termly Management Meetings and hold two votes. The co-ordinator meets regularly with the Group members to ensure that they are kept up to date with all developments. Pupils are encouraged to pass feedback and ideas regarding the service to the Co-ordinator or a Pupil Group representative. Members of the Group see much of their role as providing liaison between TIC TAC and the pupils generally, allowing them to bring a young persons view to TIC TAC, providing a voice for the pupils as a whole and making sure the project is in touch with the needs of young people, thereby making sure a relevant service is provided.
At TIC TAC pupils are actively encouraged to take their ideas forward. For instance, a group of Year 11 pupils who had experienced being bullied in earlier years wanted a service to be set up to support younger pupils in a similar situation. With support from the TIC TAC staff the pupils put in a lot of work and gathered lots of information, finally coming up with a plan that would involve a peer education project, to be known as ’Face Up’. The idea of the project was for older pupils to undertake training so that they would be in a position to support others affected by bullying. The idea was forwarded and gained support from the TIC TAC Management Group and the College.
In 1999 ‘Face Up’ applied for, and received, a grant of £3000 from Barclays New Futures in order to set up a peer education project. A steering group was set up and it advertised that pupils were being sought to take part in the project. The response was overwhelming with 80 pupils putting themselves forward to take part. Introductory sessions were held for all those who had shown an interest, and in-depth training was completed by a group of 10 pupils. The service is now up and running with lunch time sessions happening on both sites.