Democratic Education: Schools
|| School is the place where young people spend the majority of their time. It is perhaps the most important community, other than home, in which they participate. For many it is a positive experience, but for others it is something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children and young people have the "right to express views freely in all matters affecting them". This includes views and opinions on schooling.
With support from the Phoenix Education Trust, a group of young people aged 11-19 have formed a new organisation for secondary students – the English Secondary Students’ Association (ESSA). ESSA has a dual role. It promotes the benefits of young people becoming part of the decision-making process that affects their school lives, and it provides individual students with support for voicing their views and opinions about educational issues.
European support network
English students aren't the only people that think having a say in education is important. The Organising Bureau of European School Students Unions (OBESSU) is the umbrella organisation for European student bodies. At present the UK is not represented at OBESSU, and the views of UK students are not addressed alongside their European counterparts. More information about OBESSU can be found at www.obessu.org
(The OBESSU site was not live on September 19, 2006)
Other student-focused organisations
There are a range of organisations that promote and support student-led initiatives. For further information please visit the links page of the ESSA website.