‘Pupil voice' refers to the active participation of pupils in the process of their own education and to the extent that they are consulted and listened to about a range of issues that directly impact upon them.
Fuller individual pupil participation in the education process and the right of the child to be consulted has been underpinned by The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The SEN Code of Practice (2001) strengthens the idea that the views of children with special educational needs should be sought and taken into account in any matters affecting them. This includes participation in drawing-up and reviewing Individual Education Plans and active consultation in the process of assessment and decisions about school placement.
Relevance for teachers
The voice of the pupil is integral to the citizenship curriculum and the concept of lifelong learning. Good practice indicates that active participation in school processes encourages pupils to become independent and reflective learners. Equally, participation in decision-making, planning and setting learning targets involves the pupil directly in reflecting on their own educational experiences and needs. Inclusive schools promote active participation of its pupils by developing a range of opportunities for involvement from individual and classroom based activities to whole-school forums
DfES (2001) Revised SEN Code of Practice. London. DfES Publications.
DfES (2003) Your Voice. Working together: Giving Young people and children a say. (Ref:DfES/0492/2003). London. DfES Publications.
Quicke, J. (2003) Educating the Pupil Voice. Support for Learning. Volume 18 Issue 2. p51.
Mcbeath, J. et al (2003) Consulting Pupils: A toolkit for teachers. CambridgePearson Publishing.