Pupil participation is about developing a culture in schools where all children and young people have a voice and have the opportunity to play an active role in decisions that affect their learning and well-being, as set out in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Although having an active school council is an essential part of this approach, it is only one aspect.
Pupil participation should happen in a variety of ways and at different levels of school life. Some of these are:
- As part of teaching and learning;
- Processes such as circle-time, focus groups, and consultations;
- Participatory groups such as the school council, eco-committee, healthy schools and peer mentors;
- Having structures in place so that all pupils can be involved in decision-making, including those with additional learning needs;
- Using the National Participation Standards;