Sunday, June 28, 2009

A different kind of charter school

A school in Leicestershire, England has created a student participation charter that lays out, in detail, the ways in which students will participate in the governance of the school. The document was created by two members of the local youth council with the support of the borough council and the county council, and will be piloted in a Leicestershire school with the support of a nearby college.

The Forward, written by Gareth Williams, the Director of Children and Young People’s Service for the county, acknowledges the link between student voice initiatives the a healthy democracy:
Encouraging young people to both understand the importance of democratic decision-making and also to develop the skills that go with participative democracy in our communities is a high priority for us.

The democratic life of our country is dependent on future generations playing a full and active part in their communities and making informed choices in elections.

The charter includes numerous criteria by which a school can gauge its commitment to student voice. Schools judged by the Healthy Schools Student Participation Quality Assurance Group to have achieved "advanced" status will receive a Student Participation in School Award. Examples of the criteria include:
11.4 Student Representatives will be involved with the appointment of staff and are suitably prepared for this work (understanding the processes, weighting given to their views and equal opportunities).

12.7 Students will be given the opportunity to be part of the quality assurance process for teaching and learning within the school.

Leicestershire Student and School Participation Charter

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