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Participation in Decision Making in Educational Settings: beyond learner voice and pupil councils

7 Nov 2018, 3.00PM–6.00PM
Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling
Participation in Decision Making in Educational Settings: beyond learner voice and pupil councils

This event is intended to continue an already prevalent conversation among academics, policy makers, curriculum bodies and stakeholders about the topic of learner participation.

As a collective, we need to critically appraise and reflect on recent policy interventions and consider how best to support policy implementation.

The event will also promote a discussion about recently launched new guidance from Education Scotland, which was based on research conducted in the Faculty of Social Sciences on the topic of learner participation. In the light of the new How Good is OUR School (for learners), we will also look at the role of learners in formal school improvement processes. The event will feed into the development of research impacts, knowledge exchange on the topic, and the raising of the profile of the Curriculum Studies Network as a context for this work.

Some quotes from pupils involved in the study

Pupil: We’re more aware of the problems in the school than the teachers. They can’t see it from a pupil point of view.

Pupil: we got to have quite a big say in [...] how teachers could improve the learning experience. The funniest thing was they approached us about it.

Who should come to this event?

We believe that policy advisors, curriculum support and design professionals, lead teachers and head teachers, academics (for example, teacher educators), doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, third sector organisations, and stakeholder bodies interested in this topic would all benefit from this event.

Confirmed speakers

Bruce Adamson

Before becoming the Commissioner in May 2017, Bruce worked as a lawyer. In this role, he built up over 20 years of experience working on children’s rights issues. Bruce has also been a Member of the Children’s Panel for 13 years, a United Nations Representative for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, and Chair of the Scottish Child Law CentreRead more.

Professor Laura Lundy

Laura Lundy is Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights and a Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights. Her expertise is in children’s right to participate in decision-making and education rights. Read more.

Professor Mark Priestley

Mark Priestley is the Director of the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies, based in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Mark's research interests relate to curriculum theory, policy and practice, and the professional work of teachers. Current research concerns teachers and curriculum development (through critical collaborative professional enquiry) in Scotland and Wales, curriculum narrowing in Scotland, and teachers working conditions in Scotland. He is also working with colleagues in a range of countries (including Cyprus, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Canada) to develop understanding of the ways in which curriculum policy is mediated and enacted in diverse ways.Read more.

Dr Greg Mannion

Greg Mannion is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Education), University of Stirling. His research brings together theories of participation and child rights, intergenerational education, person-place relations, nature and culture. Much of his research looks at the way lived experiences of practices and places can be important in the participation and learning for children and young people alongside adults and communities. In recent projects, his research considers the role of learners’ participation in raising attainment and achievement in education. Read more.

Background documentation

Mannion, G, Sowerby, M. & I’Anson, J. (2014) How Young People’s Participation in School Supports Achievement and Attainment.Edinburgh: Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

This event will be hosted by the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies.

Please note that if you are purchasing a student ticket, evidence of student status would need to be sent to

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