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

Funded by Delegates - Conferences.

Young people have the right to participate in decisions that affect them in service provision. They also learn a lot through taking part decisions in democratic ways. Participation in decision making in schools is therefore core to effective education in thriving democracies. However, empirical research has shown that often learners’ participation does not always happen effectively and gets limited to pupil councils or tokenistic consultations.

In Scotland, research by University of Stirling has shown that young people highly value opportunities for having a say throughout school life, in class, in governance groups, in the wider curriculum, and in connection to the community. In secondary schools in areas of deprivation, where participation opportunities existed, pupils reported that their achievements and attainments were also positively impacted.

In policy, new guidance documents, Learner Participation in Educational Settings 3-18 and ‘How good is OUR school? A resource to support learner participation in self-evaluation and school improvement’ provide fresh opportunities for schools and early years providers to consider anew how learner participation is understood and supported.

This event on November 7th – organized through the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences) – will afford an opportunity to learn about the research, the links to current policy, and a chance to critically appraise and reflect on this field.

Practitioners, school managers, policy advisors, local authority personnel, curriculum designers and academics are invited to hear keynote speakers and engage in debate at this event.

Keynote speakers will include Professor Laura Lundy (Queens University Belfast), Bruce Adamson (the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland), Professor Mark Priestley (University of Stirling), Dr Greg Mannion (University of Stirling)

Total award value £1,376.00

People (1)


Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor, Education

Outputs (1)