Addressing the student voice
The use of pupil “secret shoppers” is the latest attempt to improve school life by listening to the “student voice”.
For example, last year Passmores Academy in Harlow, Essex, recruited a group of volunteer student pedagogues (or ‘stu-peds’, as they became known) to gather pupil views on learning and feed it back to staff.
However, some schools have been accused of taking it too far.
In 2010 the NASUWT teaching union raised concerns about prospective teachers being
“humiliated” by pupils sitting on job interview panels.
In one example a teacher was labelled a “Humpty Dumpty” by a pupil on a panel.
In another a teacher was asked to sing their favourite song by a student. They declined and did not get the job.
Tom Bennett, the government’s behaviour tsar, says student feedback is “incredibly important” but it should be collected by individual teachers who can filter it through their own professional understanding.