Ad­dress­ing the stu­dent voice

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - INSIGHT -

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.

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