“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 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:
“If school don’t support you to try things how will we ever get the chance?”
“Support staff have ideas of what young people are good at or not good at. Don’t make assumptions.”
“We need to create positive stories about pupils with additional support needs rather than focus on the negatives.”
“We want to be seen as individuals with our set of unique strengths and skills.”
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