DH O3 I want to know more about participation at the school level

Participation at the school level

Involving teachers, parents, and students in school management is a key aspect of social participation in education. This model has several benefits:

  • It allows the three main groups in the school to share their views on the school’s goals, policies, and practices.
  • It encourages constructive dialogue and collaboration among the different stakeholders, leading to better outcomes for the school community.
  • It boosts a sense of responsibility and ownership of the school among participants, as they actively help shape and improve it.
  • It fosters a sense of agency and empowerment, especially among young people, but also teachers and parents, who can develop their skills, confidence, and civic engagement through participation.
  • It promotes diversity and inclusion by respecting and valuing the opinions and needs of different groups and encouraging them to contribute to the school’s development.
  • It creates a positive school culture by fostering trust, respect, and cooperation among school members, and reducing conflicts and tensions.

To ensure this model is effective and sustainable, a clear and transparent framework for participation is essential, along with adequate support and resources. Supervisory bodies should be depoliticised and de-ideologised, focusing on providing quality assurance and guidance rather than interfering and controlling.

It is also crucial to strengthen the voice of individual groups through self-organisation and networking. For example, schools can form associations to cooperate, exchange good practices, and organise inter-school events. Teachers can join trade unions to advocate for their rights and interests, and access professional development opportunities. Parents can create associations to support the school and their children and participate in decision-making processes. Students can engage in wider civic and social initiatives, such as student parliaments, volunteer work, or activism. By doing so, each group can enhance its position and influence, and contribute to the improvement of the education system. Additional training and support frameworks should be offered within these bodies – especially for student and parent bodies.

Materials to use:

The Power of Relationships in Schools