Meg Shakesheff, 17, is head girl of Wolverhampton Grammar, an independent school
"If pupils are talking over the teacher all the time it's a real pain. It's so hard to concentrate, though I think it's healthy for there to be a certain amount of discussion as long as it's focused. I think there are also times when a certain amount of background chatter is acceptable. But if a student is just trying to see how much talk they can get away with and won't stop, then I think they should be sent out of the class for the sake of the others.
"Of course, you might have a class of smart alecks who like the sound of their own voices and then I think a good teacher would channel that energy into making a positive contribution to the lesson in hand. I also think it helps to have lots of opportunity in school for students to voice their opinions. For example, at our school we have a school council and a good peer support system, and some of us are trained by local counsellors to be good listeners."