A Learning Bill of Rights
Recently I was engaged in a textual experience with various texts, these texts ranged from the new framework for Ofsted (UK School Inspectorate), the IAG framework (Information and Guadance) for schools and the publication from the DFES “Going the extra mile”. The catalyst or instigator of this though was my response to the text from Ofsted where schools are to be graded and particuarly the grading of “Outstanding”.
Why did this stike me, why did I engage with this?
Two ways, one it is still directed at how management can affect change through policy, it still determines that change is directed from the top down. Very laudable, but how does the student engage with this, how can the student expect that the school is working towards the “Outstanding” metaphor.
Perhaps it might be an idea to create a “Learning Bill of Rights”, where the student has a right to expect that the school is working towards “Outstanding” criteria and be able to demand that the teacher, other learners, senior leadership and parents are on this track. This bill of rights gives the power directly to the student to demand that the school demonstrates that it can meet the target.
Taking the text from the Framework for inspection the Learning Bill of Rights might include the following:-
As a student in Education you have the right to expect:
To feel safe in the classroom, school and playground
To expect excellent behaviour from your peers, teachers, leaders and parents
To have a quality of learning that takes into account your individual needs and styles
To expect a school leadership to drive the school to improve
To expect a curriculum that is relevant, creative and tailored to your needs
To expect excellent support for learning and behaviour that meets your needs.
My idea behind this is that by giving the power to the student, you energise their rights, and by doing this, change will come from the very people who deserve it.