Policy Document

Learner Participation in Educational Settings (3-18)



Mannion G & Sowerby M (2018) Learner Participation in Educational Settings (3-18). Scottish Government / Education Scotland. Livingstone. https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Documents/learner-participation.pdf

Curriculum for Excellence supports children and young people so that they can gain the knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities which underpin the four capacities required for life in the 21st century. Children’s rights, embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence. These rights include, amongst others, the right to participate through dialogues with adults based on mutual respect, and the right to an education. In education settings, children and young people need to be recognised more clearly as participants with rights alongside professionals and community members. Learner participation is needed for Curriculum for Excellence’s aims and purposes to be achieved across all contexts of learning. Learner participation is a key thread running through the How good is our school? (4th edition, hereafter, HGIOS?4) and How good is our early learning and childcare? (HGIOELC?) documents and is promoted as a key component within Scottish education policy. In schools and early years settings, learner participation is core to a good education. As part of all educational experience, it is young people’s right to have a say in matters that affect them. Our vision is that in all schools and early learning and childcare settings all young people should have opportunities to… (i) learn about their right to participate voluntarily in decision making (ii) be enabled to participate through a variety of ways of expressing their views (iii) have a say in shaping educational provisions in their setting and beyond (iv) learn through participating in decisions within a wide variety of educational activities and processes leading to meaningful impacts and outcomes (v) be involved in monitoring and evaluating young people’s participation and its impacts Effective learner participation means that a good education can become relevant, valuable, and supportive of achievement and attainment. Teachers and school leaders are distinctively positioned to enable learner participation. However, recent research shows that education professionals need now to reflect and evaluate on how all arenas of school and early years life can better support learner participation. We must help young people understand and exercise their rights regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and background, and help them contribute in all kinds of decision making both locally and through linking to the wider community.

Participation; learning; children's rights; education

FundersScottish Government
Publication date01/09/2018
Publisher URLhttps://education.gov.scot/…articipation.pdf
Place of publicationLivingstone

People (1)


Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor, Education

Projects (1)