Best Practice

Pupil voice: Time to up the volume

What does pupil voice look like in your school? Hopefully it is more than a sporadic school council meeting. Suzanne O’Connell urges schools to review how they seek and use the views of their pupils
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We should regularly review how we collect the views of our pupils, as well as their parents and our wider school community.


The school council

Having a functioning council has often been seen as an indication that pupil voice is sought and listened to. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. It is all too easy for the school council to fall into the hands of a small number of pupils who enjoy this type of role and pop up more than once in voluntary groups around the school.

Through no fault of their own, they can dominate discussions which can focus on the same annual issues of school toilets and playground equipment. The agenda can end up being manufactured and skewed towards outcomes that the school feels confident it can deliver or peripheral issues that can largely be ignored.

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