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7 November, 2006

Give children more say in running their schools, says minister

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, has welcomed calls from Lord Adonis to give pupils a bigger role in how their schools are run. Greater pupil participation, he said, can often lead to better exam results.

In evidence to the Education and Skills Select Committee's inquiry into citizenship education in schools, the schools minister had called for pupils to be included in teacher interviews. He had also advocated allowing pupils to be full members of school governing bodies. Currently under 18s can only be non-voting members.

Lord Adonis said that while some headteachers believed that pupils should have a say in appointments, others did not; however he did not not want to prescribe to schools what they should do.

"My own view is that they should make the effort. I think it is immensely worthwhile for them to do so."

He added, "The issue isn't whether the skills are available within the school, it is whether the school leadership regards this as a sufficiently high priority for them to do it."

Commenting, Tony Breslin said:

"When schools take the apparently radical step of having pupils on interviewing panels and governing bodies, none of the schools we know about have ever gone back."

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