I talked last term to Rory Shanks, a sixth-former at Wolverhampton Grammar, about his school's student parliament. When I asked how much students are involved in real decision-making, he said that debating apparently minor issues is good preparation for deeper involvement.
"They'll talk about not having enough chips, or the mirrors needing to be lower in the toilets. They're small things, but they matter to the students. But they can tackle larger issues when the time comes - they were involved when our new music block was being built, for example."
Whether student voice can be honest and effective is addressed by a Futurelab Conference, "Challenging Learner Voice", at Warwick University on October 23.
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