Democratic Education

Democratic Education


Feeling connected to the world begins with feeling connected to the school. Everybody matters and everybody has a voice. We feel that empowerment in education begins with having a greater say in how the school is run for both students and staff.

A school meeting with all the teachers and students will decide on all pastoral matters: behaviour, rules in school time, uniform, upkeep of the school environment and more. Decisions will be made by arriving at a consensus, and if that is not possible through majority voting with teachers and students having one vote each.

Time will be given over every week to discuss issues, to encourage free speech, to develop the ability to express one’s opinion in public and to listen to other points of view before making decisions. Students will be expected to do some research to back up proposals to the school meeting. Some new ideas will be trialed to understand better the impact and implications they may have before we firmly commit to making them school policy.

The meeting itself is an important opportunity for learning how to communicate. The emphasis will be on listening to the speaker without interrupting, analysing and then speaking with respect towards the individuals and the group. Students will learn about non-violent communication to nurture relationships where students feel free to express themselves whilst respecting others.

The picture is published with the kind permission of the students and teachers of Sands School.