Students from East Durham College have been given the opportunity to take over major roles at the college for the day as part of a charity initiative.

The Children’s Commissioner for England’s Takeover Challenge 2016 saw five students from the Peter Jones Enterprise course take over the principal roles for the day.

Bobby Davies, 17, from Hartlepool, took over the top job of principal of the college, Mark Hardman, 16, from Hartlepool, took over as vice principal of curriculum and performance, Beth Swales, 18, from Hartlepool and Amelia-Jayne Chapman, 17, from Peterlee, took over as vice principals of finance and finally James Harker, 16, from Peterlee, was named assistant principal for curriculum operations for the day.

The students spent the day shadowing the college’s leadership team, getting an inside view of how a large organisation is managed, and got the opportunity to offer their own unique input and assisting with their duties.

Takeover Challenge is a country-wide event run by the Children’s Commissioner for England which gives children the opportunity to step in the shoes of adults at work.

The Challenge has grown year-on-year with more than 45,000 children from all over the country taking part in 2016. Organisations and individuals who get involved include major broadcasters, government departments, a West End theatre and MPs.

East Durham College principal, Suzanne Duncan hailed the day as a huge success and enjoyed taking part in the process.

Suzanne said: “This event was about giving the students the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes at the college.

“We wanted to give these students an insight into our day-to-day activities and to see what goes into making the college run.

“It was a fantastic project to be a part of and, along with the students, we also learned from them too and got a great insight to their views of college life.”

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “Takeover Challenge goes from strength to strength every year, with tens of thousands of children across England now taking part. I am enormously grateful to organisations and individuals who embrace the challenge and throw open their doors to involve young people.

“Children are full of fresh ideas, imagination and energy so they can really provide a fresh perspective that organisations can benefit from. Giving children and young people a chance to do adult roles for the day helps organisations understand the needs of children, who also use the experience to show off their talents and achieve their full potential.”

Find out more about the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge events here: