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Having your say at school

Having your say at school

“When pupils feel listened to, respected and included in school life, they’re more likely to do well at school.”

What is pupil participation?

It’s having your say.

Pupil participation is about having a say and being listened to. This includes decisions about your learning and well-being. You have the right to share your views in a way that works for you.

Some examples include:

  • Having your say about your support for learning
  • Pupil councils
  • Pupil led assemblies and awareness raising events
  • Sharing your opinion as part of your support plans.

Why is it so important for pupils to have a voice at school?

1. Because it’s your right!

All children and young people have the right to be listened to and taken seriously. 

This right is recognised in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or the UNCRC for short. The UNCRC is like a list of promises to young people to listen to you, keep you safe, look after you and treat you fairly.

In Scotland, the law also says that at school you have the right to be: included, listened to and involved in decisions made about the support you need to get the most out of your education.

2. It can also help you feel more included

Being heard and actively included in school life can help you feel better about school. It can also help you feel more confident, respected and included.

“For me, talking and listening are the key to true inclusion because without this everything you might be doing could be entirely irrelevant to the pupil. After all, how can you include someone who isn’t involved in the conversation?”

3. You are the expert in how school can work best for you

No one else has the ideas that you have or can think the way you think. Your words and thoughts are unique – just like you. Therefore, by listening to ALL pupils, schools can work out what is best for each and every pupil’s learning.

You’re also never too young to use your voice to speak up about stuff that you care about. And you can use your voice to make a difference to other people at school too.

some advice from the Inclusion Ambassadors

The Inclusion Ambassadors are a group of secondary school pupils from all over Scotland who have additional support needs.

Below are some of their thoughts about the support they get at school:

You can find out more from the Inclusion Ambassadors by visiting their page:

Need help to have your say at school?

If you are aged 12-15 then My Rights, My Say can help you make sure your voice is heard.

They help pupils to use their rights to make sure they get the support they need at school.

An adult can put you in touch with My Rights, My Say or you can contact them yourself.

More advice

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