This paper is the report of the first stage in the 'I was a teenage governor' project, organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research in partnership with the Citizenship Foundation and Derry Hannam - Specialist Consultant in Pupil Participation, and Project Director at the Phoenix Education Trust until February 2004. It is intended to be used as a practical tool for any school considering the appointment of its pupils as Associate Members of Governing Bodies. The aim is not to be evangelical or prescriptive about the possibilities of pupil governors. Our organisations believe that pupil associate members have potential as agents of change in the education system, but that, until the idea is rigorously tested, it is impossible to assert the merits of pupils governors with any confidence. As this report points out, appointing pupils as associate members of governing bodies without some deeper thought and actions relating to pupil democracy throughout the school could have a worse than tokenistic impact. In this sense, we support the Government's voluntarist approach: at this stage, schools should be free to decide whether Pupil Associate Members are appropriate for their needs.
Thirteen schools from eight LEAs have signed up to the pilot project, and these schools' pupils will serve as associate members on school governing bodies from September 2004. Between January and August 2004, the precise research, development and evaluation models will be created in partnership with the participating schools and LEAs.
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