Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Unsatisfactory Progress: Article 12 and Pupil Participation in English Schools

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

This paper explores the application of Article 12 of the UNCRC to education in England, with specific emphasis on children’s involvement in definitions of “suitable education” in the context of English schools. It is demonstrated that, despite a claimed commitment to children’s rights by the UK government, little progress has been made in relation to Article 12 and pupil participation in education policy and practice. It is argued that this is because the school environment views children from within a paternalistic framework and the available mechanisms for children to participate are adult-defined and controlled and this limits what children are able to say. The paper concludes by suggesting some reasons why this state of affairs exists and what might be done to remedy it.

Affiliations: 1: University of the West of Scotland, UK,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Advisory Group on Citizenship, Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools , Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (London, DfEE, 1998).
2. Alderson P.,, “"Disturbed young people: research for what, research for whom?"” in Hood Mayall, and Oliver (eds), Critical Issues in Social Research (Oxford University Press, 1999).
3. Alderson P., (2000), “"School students’ views on school councils and daily life at school”", Children & Society 2000 (14(2)), 121134.
4. Badman G., Report to the secretary of state on the review of elective home education in England , hc 610, London, tso (Crown copyright, 2009).
5. Boyden J.,, “"Childhood and the policy makers: A comparative perspective on the globalization of childhood"” in James A., and Prout A. (eds), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (2nd edn. pp. 3462). (RoutledgeFalmer, London and New York, 2007).
6. British Youth Council Youth Select Committee on Education (2013), A curriculum for life (London: British Youth Council, 2013).
7. Cooper D.M., "More law and more rights: will children benefit?" Child and Family Social Work 1998 (Vol 3), 7786.
8. Covell C., “"School engagement and rights-respecting schools”", Cambridge Journal of Education 2010 (Vol 40(1)), 3951.
9. Covell K.,, Howe R.B., and Polegato J.L. “"Children’s human rights education as a counter to social disadvantage: a case study from England”", Educational Research 2011 (Vol 53(2)), 193206.
10. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007), The children’s plan: building brighter futures , hmso, London, Crown Copyright.
11. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2008a), Working together: listening to the voices of children and young people , Crown Copyright.
12. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2008b), Youth alcohol action plan , London, Crown Copyright.
13. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2008c), The Play Strategy , London, Crown Copyright.
14. Department for Children, Schools and Families, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Priorities for action . (Nottingham: Crown Copyright, 2009).
15. Department for Children, Schools and Families, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: How legislation underpins implementation in England (London: hmso, 2010).
16. Department for Education, (2010), The Importance of Teaching: Schools White Paper , Crown Copyright.
17. Department for Education, (2013), Citizenship programmes of study: key stages 3 and 4. National curriculum in England , Crown Copyright available: Department for Education website (2014):​-curriculum.
18. Department for Education and Skills, Higher Standards, Better Schools for All – more choice for parents and pupils . (London: hmso, 2005).
19. Deuchar R., “"Seen and heard, and then not heard: Scottish pupils’ experience of democratic educational practice during the transition from primary to secondary school”", Oxford Review of Education 2009 (35(1)), 2340.
20. Education Act 1944, para. 76, London, hmso, Crown Copyright.
21. Education Act 1996 (c.56), London, hmso, Crown Copyright.
22. Education Act 2002, para. 176 (1), London, hmso, Crown Copyright.
23. Education and Inspections Act 2006, Chapter 40 Stat. London, hmso, Crown Copyright.
24. Education and Skills Act (2008), London, hmso, Crown Copyright.
25. Fielding M., “"Students as radical agents of change”", Journal of Educational Change 2001 (Vol 2), 123141.
26. Freeman M., “"Why it remains important to take children’s rights seriously”", International Journal of Children’s Rights 2007 (Vol 15), 523.
27. Freud S., (2005 [1905]), The essentials of psycho-analysis selected and introduced by Freud Anna, Random House.
28. Guldberg H., Reclaiming childhood: freedom and play in an age of fear (London: Routledge, 2009).
29. Hartas D., “"Young people’s participation: is disaffection another way of having a voice?”", Educational Psychology in Practice 2011 (Vol 27(2)), 103115
30. Heywood C., A history of childhood (Polity Press: 2003, 2nd edn.).
31. Hinton R., “"Children’s participation and good governance: limitations of the theoretical literature”", International Journal of Children’s Rights 2008 (Vol 16), 285300.
32. Hobbs C.,, Todd L., and Taylor J., “"Consulting with children and young people: Enabling educational psychologists to work collaboratively”", Educational and Child Psychology 2000 (Vol 17(4)), 107115.
33. Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (2004), 2003 Home Office Citizenship Survey: People, families and communities , Home Office Research Study 289, Home Office, London.
34. hm Government, uk Government, The Consolidated 3rdand 4thPeriodic Report to the un Committee on the Rights of the Child (Nottingham: hmso, 2007).
35. hm Government, The Fifth Periodic Report to the un Committee on the Rights of the Child (Nottingham: hmso, 2014).
36. John M., Children’s rights and power: charging up for a new century (London: Jessica Kingsley, 2003).
37. Lewis A., “"Silence in the context of child voice”", Children and Society 2010 (Vol 24), 1423.
38. Local Government Ombudsman (2013), Complaints about schools:​.uk/schools/.
39. Maitles H., and Gilchrist I. (2005), “‘"We’re citizens now’!: the development of positive values through a democratic approach to learning"”, Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies , 3(1).
40. Mayall B.,, “"Children and childhood"” in Hood Mayall, and Oliver (eds.), Critical Issues in Social Research (Oxford University Press, 1999).
41. Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee, Parliament (2010), Appendix 2: Children’s trust board (Children and young people’s plan) (England) (Revocation) Regulations 2010 (si 2010/2129): Correspondence:
42. Mitchell R.C., and McCusker S., “"Theorising the un Convention on the Rights of the Child within Canadian post-secondary education: A grounded theory approach”", International Journal of Children’s Rights 2008 (Vol 16), 159176.
43. Morrow V., “‘"We are people too’: Children’s and young people’s perspectives on children’s rights and decision making in England"”, The International Journal of Children’s Rights 1999 (7), 149170.
44. Rogoff B.,, Correa-Chavez M., and Cotuc M.,, “"A cultural/historical view of schooling in human development”" in Pillemer D.B., and White S.H. (eds.), Developmental psychology and social change: Research, history and policy (pp. 225263), (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
45. Rudduck J., and Flutter J., “"Pupil Participation and Pupil Perspective: ‘carving a new order of experience’”", Cambridge Journal of Education 2000 (Vol 30(1)), 7589.
46. Schapiro T., “"Childhood and personhood”", Arizona Law Review 2009 (Vol 45(575)), 575594.
47. Schiller W., and Einarsdottir J., Special Issue: “"Listening to young children’s voices in research – changing perspectives/changing relationships”", Early Child Development and Care 2009 (Vol 179(2)), 125130.
48. Sebba J., and Robinson C. (2010), Evaluation of Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools Award , Final Report, University of Brighton.
49. Sherrod L.R., “"Adolescents’ perceptions of rights as reflected in their views of citizenship”", Journal of Social Issues 2008 (Vol 64(4)), 771790.
50. Shier H., “"Children as Public Actors: Navigating the Tensions”", Children & Society 2010 (24), 2437.
51. Smith A., “"Children and young people’s participation rights in education”", International Journal of Children’s Rights 2007 (Vol 15), 147164.
52. Stafford B., “"Bad evidence: the curious case of the government commissioned review of elective home education in England and how parents exposed its weakness”", Evidence and Policy 2012 (Vol 8(3)), 361381.
53. Turtle K.,, McElearney A., and Scott J., “"Involving children in the design and development of research instruments and data collection procedures: A case study in primary schools in Northern Ireland”", Child Care in Practice 2010 (Vol 16(1)), 5782.
54. Unicef uk  (2016), Rights Respecting Schools :​-respecting-schools/.
55. unicef uk (2012), United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: http://www​
56. United Nations (2009), Universal declaration of human rights :
57. United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child , 49th session Sess. 1–21. Report: crc/C/gbr/co/4 – 20 October 2008:​BodyExternal/Countries.aspx.
58. United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child , 49th session Sess. 1–21. Report: crc/C/gbr/Q/4/Add.1 – 10 September 2008:
59. United Nations, 2008, crc/C/gbr/Q/4/ – 27 June 2008:​_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Countries.aspx.
60. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989):​.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/UNCRC_PRESS200910web.pdf.
61. Uprichard E., “"Questioning research with children: Discrepancy between theory and practice”", Children and Society 2010 (Vol 24), 313.
62. Whitty G., and Wisby E., “"Whose voice? An exploration of the current policy interest in pupil involvement in school decision-making”", International Studies in Sociology of Education 2007 (17(3)), 303319.
63. Wyness M.G., Contesting childhood (London: Falmer, 2000).
64. Wyness M., Childhood and society: an introduction to the sociology of childhood (Palgrave, 2006).
65. Wyness M., “"Children representing children: Participation and the problem of diversity in uk youth councils”", Childhood 2009 (Vol 16(4)), 535552.
66. Wyse D., “"Felt tip pens and school councils: children’s participation rights in four English schools”", Children & Society 2001 (15(4)), 209218.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The International Journal of Children's Rights — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation