Pupil Participation

Image from google images – the boys all wear badges similar to these

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a pupil council meeting and see how Moulsford run their meetings. A boy from each class showed up including the pre-prep classes, the head boys, the headmaster and the deputy head (pastoral). All the boys were wearing pins to show their status as a pupil council member and patiently, quietly waited for the headmaster to call them into his office to begin the meeting – which impressed me a lot. A chair (one of the boys) had already been appointed and throughout the meeting ran through each of the items on the list which ranged from cups in the canteen to sporting opportunities to a skate park on the grounds. Each point was discussed and supported by the headmaster and the deputy head (pastoral) no matter how big or small the matter or how silly it was either. A lot of the time it was suggested that if the matter in hand was a possibility it would need to be run by the bursar before any final decisions were made on the matter, but no idea was ever shot down. Nothing point was rushed through and every suggestion was treated as a democracy with the headmaster suggesting the pupil council take a vote on the matter if there was a lot of debate.

It became clear to me throughout the meeting that the pupil council is taken very seriously in the school by the way the children’s opinions and suggestions were carefully taken into consideration and the way the boys acted during the meeting. However, the more research I did, the more I realised this is not something which is special for Moulsford. The Department of Education in England is supportive for all schools to have structures similar to pupil councils in place which can allow pupils to discuss the issues that affect them and hear their opinions. Moreover, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states clearly that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives and by having a pupil council, Moulsford are clearly doing this. The experience of sitting in on a pupil council meeting has definitely showed me the importance of listening to your pupils in a school and is something which I feel all schools should have.

Image from google images

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