The Government has backed a drive to increase the role of school councils. It is estimated that 90 per cent of schools now have some form of council, giving pupils a say on issues such as school meals and bullying.
At Forest Gate School in east London pupils train to become peer mediators, helping staff settle playground disputes.
Some schools have established junior leadership teams which shadow senior teachers.
Pupils at Greenford High School in Ealing, west London, sit on faculty boards to discuss changes to the curriculum.
Pupil interview panels for new staff are also increasingly popular. Roderick MacKinnon, head of Bexley Grammar School, said: "We have involved students for a number of years. I have always been struck by the perceptive comments pupils of all ages make when they have had the chance to talk to candidates."