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The term 'pupil voice' refers to ways of listening to the views of pupils and/or involving them in decision-making. You may also hear the expressions 'learner voice' or 'consulting pupils'.
A feature of effective leadership is engaging pupils as active participants in their education and in making a positive contribution to their school and local community.
The Government is committed to the promotion and protection of children’s rights, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It believes that children and young people should have opportunities to express their opinion in matters that affect their lives. Some of the benefits of involving children and young people in decision making are:
This guidance will next be reviewed in September 2013.
This legislation is underpinned by the general principles of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), - articles 2, 3, 6 and, in particular, article 12 which states the following:
1. Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall, in particular, be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.'
The UNCRC has not been incorporated into national law, so there is no statutory duty to comply with it. However, the Government has reiterated its commitment to pay 'due regard' to the Convention when new policy is made and legislation proposed. Schools are strongly encouraged to pay due regard to the convention.
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Statutory guidance from the Department for Education, which local authorities (LAs)and maintained schools must have regard to. This guidance will be reviewed in September 2013.
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