The participation of Flemish pupils in student counsils in secondary schools

Project Details


This project wants to examine how the needs for participation of Flemish pupils can be met by a formal structure as a student council. The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent decree on student councils in secondary schools (30/03/99).
Research has shown that the participation of pupils in school life has a positive effect on citizenship values and school well-being of young people. The problem however, is that pupils from technical (TSO) and vocational schools (BSO) systematically get lesser opportunities to participate. Furthermore, research shows that although these pupils want to have more say in school, they are less willing to participate to a student council.
In the first part of the project, the differences in formal and informal participation of students of general, technical and vocational education will be examined by quantitive analysis of data already gathered (OBPWO 98.01). In the second part, the perception, the meanings and expectations of participation by young people, will be investigated by in-depth interviews. In this fase of the research, the perception of teachers and headmasters will also be examined. Special attention will be given to their perception of the reasons why pupils have a different interest in participation.
These results will be used to set up a survey among pupils of the 2nd and 4th year in 60 schools, their teachers and their headmasters. A focus point in this research is how possible problems in the realisation of the present decree can be effectively met.
Effective start/end date1/10/0030/11/02


  • sociology
  • student participation

Flemish discipline codes

  • Sociology and anthropology