Listen to the children

Tes Editorial

Your article on responses to the Green Paper (TES, August 17) misses an important point on the range of responses.

Although this document clearly concerns children and their education, the Government's consultation process did not involve children, the main "consumers" of education. At Save the Children, we felt that this was a serious enough omission to want to rectify it by asking a small sample of children about their views on the Green Paper, and demonstrating that this can be done even with the youngest pupils.

The principle of consulting children on matters affecting them has yet to be accepted fully, although the Department for Education and Skills has been supportive of our consultation. The lack of children's views being sought generally is reflected throughout education. Children are at the heart of education and spend at least 10 years in formal education, yet are not routinely consulted about decisions that affect them. The UK government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, yet nearly 10 years on, article 12, a child's right to have his or her views listened to, is not being implemented in education.

We support citizenship in the curriculum but would urge the Government to go further and involve children in their own learning by consulting them much more often. Scotland has already taken a step towards this in deciding that schools must consult pupils on their development plans, and by allowing pupils to appeal against their own exclusion.

John Errington Programme director Save the Children England Second floor 1 Eastgate, Leeds

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Editorial

Latest stories

New headteachers - here are 9 things you need to know

Headteacher wellbeing and sources of 'streth'

Former headteacher Chris McDermott set out to find out the true causes of leader stress and support – and in doing so coined a whole new term, as he explains here
Chris McDermott 2 Dec 2021
Transdisciplinary learning: how to embed it in your school

Why you need a transdisciplinary curriculum

At the Aspirations Academies, six hours a week are dedicated to applied transdisciplinary learning - but how does it work? And should you apply something similar at your school?
Steve Kenning 2 Dec 2021
Expert governors can now come and help schools and trusts

Why schools and trusts can now hire 'expert governors'

Providing access to expert governors for struggling settings - or those willing to pay £500 a day for their insights - could have a huge benefit across education, claims the National Governance Association
Emily Attwood 2 Dec 2021