We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Schools Must Consider The Views Of Students

November 12, 2008 12:00 AM

After decades of campaigning by children's rights advocates, the law was finally changed yesterday (11 November) to place a duty on all maintained schools in England and Wales to consider the views of children and young people. Carolyne Willow, CRAE's national coordinator, says:

"This is a historic moment that we have worked for years to achieve. It was simply unacceptable that schools should have no legal obligation to consider children's views. This change in the law should help transform the culture of schools, with children being firmly at the centre of policy and practice. Progressive educationalists will be delighted too; for them there is no question that children should have their views taken into account."

Many Parliamentarians have supported law reform though it was undoubtedly the steadfast efforts of Baroness Joan Walmsley, Liberal Democrat Peer and CRAE Patron, that secured the change.

The move is one of the first major actions to protect children's rights taken by new children's minister Baroness Delyth Morgan of Drefelin. The minister explained:

"….I am sure that the whole House will agree that the voice of pupils and young people is extremely important … The new duty in these amendments sends a clear message about the importance that we place on the involvement of pupils, which the Children's Rights Alliance for England also eloquently advocates, in matters that affect their education and school life. Through regulations, we intend to require governing bodies to invite views on a core set of policy matters. As a minimum, schools should seek and take account of pupils' views on policies on the delivery of the curriculum, behaviour, the uniform, school food, health and safety, equalities and sustainability, not simply on what colour to paint the walls."