VicSRC in focus: Student Voice in School Decision Making
In our third bitesize piece of the VicSRC Policy Platform, we break down our next focus area: Student Voice in School Decision Making. See how it underpins all our work - and can be used as a guide to yours.
GOAL 3: Students are involved in decision making at all levels.
Why this matters
We have a right to be heard. Schools are communities and in a community, everyone should have a chance to contribute their ideas.
‘Student voice’ means more than just listening to us. It means we are participating in all of the different decision-making systems in our school, including the school council. There should be a broad range of interesting ways for us to get involved as well as the SRC. We should be supported to discuss, debate and decide on our input into decisions and we should be challenged to represent the diverse experiences, views and needs of students. ‘Student voice’ is not heard if only those students elected as representatives are being heard.
When we participate in decision making we develop important skills and we improve our school. We are more engaged in our learning, we learn to consider the experience of others (including teachers) and gain insights into school systems, we experience genuine decision-making linked to responsibility. Our schools gain more insight into students’ experiences and perspectives are better able to cater for our diverse needs and interests.
Every school has a properly funded Student Representative Council or similar body
with a trained teacher adviser who is allocated adequate time allowance, senior teacher remuneration and recognition for their skills.
All schools have more than one student on their school council and all other committees.
Every school supports students to develop leadership skills and knowledge through funding their training and succession planning.
Creation of an online platform offering research and guidance on supporting student voice.
All teacher-training has a focus on student voice and personalised learning.
That effective support of student voice be something teaching staff and principals are assessed against in performance review processes.
Every school has a range of ways for students to be involved in decision making such as consultations, focus groups and surveys so that informal leaders are created as well as those elected to the SRC. These must included targeted measures to engage diverse students.
“Every student has their own opinions, each worth considering.” Student
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