Democratic Education: Schools
Democratic education aims to develop real democracy through active participation by all those involved in classrooms and educational institutions. In democratic education students share power to make decisions about all aspects of their education with teachers, governors and other adults involved in the school community.
At present in the UK there is a spectrum of democratic educational practice. Some schools have adopted a principle of making learners equal partners in the development of school policies and practice while others are beginning to take incremental steps towards the development of a democratic ethos. Each school community needs to decide which course of action is best suited to its own individual needs. However, as a recent study published by the UK Carnegie trust found pupil/student participation works best when the whole school community is involved and understands the benefits of participation, time and resources have been allocated to enabling it to happen effectively, the motivation for introducing participation is based on the desire to empower students (not control them), and staff are provided with support and guidance to change existing attitudes and overcome initial fears.
This section of the website is in the process of being developed. It aims to provide a range of examples of how schools across the UK are currently working on the spectrum of democratic practice. If you think your school could provide a good example please email us at