Is school fair and the same for everyone? What kind of decisions at school would you like to have more of a say in? Do you feel you would be listened to?
These are just some of the questions that over a thousand pupils looked at for a government research project called Excite.Ed.
Young people thought about how pupils could be more involved in decision-making at school. The most popular idea was a school voting system where all pupils can have a say. Other ideas that pupils liked included suggestion boxes in schools; getting the chance to be involved in decisions about any school improvements being planned; and a Young People’s Board to advise the government on how any new changes might affect pupils.
Talking about what pupils wanted a say in, one young person said “how money is spent in schools, how we work best, an influence on our lessons, homework, learning outside the classroom, school hours, what we learn”. Another pupil commented that “we are best placed to be involved as we are the ones learning/impacted but the consultation process needs to be made more engaging”.
Young people also got the chance to make a pitch to the Deputy First Minister John Swinney with some of their top ideas for making schools better, like….
  • being able to choose your guidance teacher so you’re sure it’s someone you will be comfortable talking to.
  • having a feedback board so that you know what’s happening as a result of you sharing your views.
  • taking the pressure off exam time by making 40% of coursework count towards the final grade.
  • having more e-learning so that the same subject choices could be offered whether you’re in a big city school or a little rural one.
  • a pupil government being elected and given the chance to share the pupils’ voices with teachers, parents, other schools and decision makers.
The Excite.Ed project was run by Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament. To find our more about young people’s views on how schools can You can read the full report here.