National Children’s Bureau http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/472499/110819_participation_works_partnership_response_-_pupil_voice_statutory_guidance.pdf• What do we mean by “pupil voice” and “pupil participation”? The distinction between the terms ‘pupil voice’ and ‘pupil participation’, and their use throughout the guidance document, may result in confusion for schools. Given the guidance’s clear commitment to participation as set out in Article 12 of the CRC, we do not believe that it is constructive to encourage tokenistic processes which might be considered ‘pupil voice’. Schools may interpret this section to mean that they do not have to genuinely engage with the children in their schools.
• There are now a plethora of national statutory requirements and guidance documents requiring children’s services to involve children and young people.
A few examples are:• It is a right for children and young people to influence decisions that affect them. This right is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) in particular Article 12 of that Convention.
A few examples are:• Participation is a key theme of Every Child Matters. (2004)
A few examples are:• Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines (1985)• Gillick v West Norfolk & Wisbech Area Health Authority  UKHL 7 (17 October 1985)• http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1985/7.html• "...whether or not a child is capable of giving the necessary consent will depend on the child’s maturity and understanding and the nature of the consent required. The child must be capable of making a reasonable assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment proposed, so the consent, if given, can be properly and fairly described as true consent."• http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research/questions/gillick _wda61289.html
A few examples are:• Section 176 of the Education Act 2002 requires that local education authorities and school governing bodies refer to statutory guidance on pupil consultation provided in “Working Together: Giving children and young people a say”.
A few examples are:• The Children Act 1989 s.22(4) L.A. must consider young people’s wishes and feelings.• The Children Act 2004 legislated for the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner with a duty to promote the views and interests of children and young people.
The benefits include:• Better services by listening and responding to children as present and future ‘customers’.• Promoting citizenship (Link?) and socialinclusion. (Link?)• Personal development for children and youngpeople.
“Building a Culture of Participation” (2003) DfES• This research, undertaken by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and PK Research Consultancy (PKRC), provides an overview of the range of participation activity being undertaken at local, regional and national levels.
Conclusive Remarks• The overarching policy document is UNCRC 1989, especially Article 12 (But there are other relevant Articles too).• Student Voice sits within a wider agenda of ‘increasing participation’ within organisations (ie schools).• The benefits of ‘participation’ has been studied by numerous studies; including involving University students, employees, primary and nursery children, service users. (Sherry Arnstein, 1969; Hart, 1992)• Participation in schools has been studied since the late 1970’s by influential researchers such as Jean Rudduck and Audrey Osler.• The ‘value’ of children’s participation is also related to changing definitions and reconstructions of ‘childhood’. (James & Prout, 1990)
Some Resources to get you started:• https://www.education.gov.uk/publications// eOrderingDownload/DfES-0827-2003.pdf.pdf• http://www.teachingexpertise.com/topic/stud ent-voice• http://www.teachingtimes.com/articles/stude nt-voice-on-school-councils.htm• http://www.pupil-voice.org.uk/resources.php
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