Authentic voices

4th December 2009 at 00:00

Sir Al Aynsley-Green is right when he calls for adults to engage meaningfully in dialogue with young people ("Pupil Voice dubbed failure by children's commissioner", November 27). Of course children will tell us what they think we want to hear if we ask their opinions about subjects close to our hearts and not to theirs. The greater the expectation that there is a "right answer", the higher the probability that a one-way "consultation" will be a sterile conversation with little gained by either participant.

We need the courage to create schools where all in the school community know they are valued, not in terms of their attainment, but as people. Then the voices we hear will be real, authentic and compelling and provide a force for change. If we want to listen, we have to be prepared to act on what we hear.

Alison Peacock, Headteacher, The Wroxham School, Hertfordshire.

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