...and less greetin'

12th December 2003 at 00:00
David Henderson listens to one headteacher's experience of changing the attitudes of her pupils (below) while the school ethos conference, organised by the Anti-Bullying Network in Dunblane, hears about the importance of listening

Too many pupil councils are "greetin' meetings", Robin Harper, the Green MSP, and former guidance teacher, told the conference.

Schools had to be more adventurous and give pupil or student council budgets for their priorities. "If they don't have a budget to spend, all it does is show that democracy does not work," he said.

Mr Harper revealed that Scotland's first children's commissioner would be appointed shortly and would be expected to promote best practice on school councils and on anti-bullying strategies.

The commissioner would have to be aware of the rights of young people and review all the Parliament's policies and practices. "It is almost like a third chamber," he said.

Margaret Doran, head of schools in Stirling, said the commissioner should be truly independent and not be afraid to challenge the system on behalf of young people.

"A blatant example of this is to challenge the adult construct of antisocial behaviour orders for children as young as 12 years of age. The job will require someone who is courageous enough to challenge the mindset of adults, including politicians," MsDoran said.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now