Parent and student voice in evaluation and planning in schools

Martin Brown, Gerry McNamara, O Shivaun, Craig Skerritt, O Joe, Jerich Faddar, Sakir Cinqir, Jan Vanhoof, Maria Figueiredo, Gul Kurum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Current approaches to the regulation of schools in most jurisdictions tend to combine elements of external inspection with systems of internal self-evaluation. An increasingly important aspect of the theory and practice of both, but particularly the latter, revolves around the role of other actors, primarily parents and students, in the process. Using literature review and documentary analysis as the research method, this article explores the research literature from many countries around the concerns of schools and teachers about giving a more powerful voice to parents and pupils. Then, focusing on Ireland, this article tries to clarify three things, official policy concerning stakeholder voice in school self-evaluation and decision making, the efforts by schools to implement this policy and the response to date of school leaders and teachers to this rather changed environment. Using Hart as opposed to token, participation, it is argued that policy mandating parental and student involvement has evolved significantly, that schools have responded positively and that there is little evidence, as yet, of teacher concern or resistance. This response is explained by the low stakes and improvement-focused education environment; the controlled, structured and simplified nature of the self-evaluation process; and the limited extent of parental and student participation in decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalImproving schools
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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© The Author(s) 2019.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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