Recommendation on participation at school (05/26/2011)

Following several evaluations of the part ‘participation at school’ of the participation decree of 2004, the Vlor made a strenghts and weaknesses analysis of the application of the participation decree in compulsory education. A working group of the General Council used this analysis as a basis for a recommendation on participation at school in primary and secondary education.

The Vlor defines participation as the space that is given to all stakeholders to engage in the school as an organization. Participation at school is a learning process, that engenders commitment and trust with regards to the decisions that are, in the end, taken by the school board.

The Vlor pleads for a participation concept at school that has, as a starting point, the right to participation from the different stakeholders. The Vlor asks the government to allow schools to follow their own trajectory, to create their own process towards participation that fits best for their pupils and parents. Regulation can be limited to some subjects for which the right to participation has to be guaranteed and to minimal conditions for the structures and procedures for participation.

Participation should be built up bottom-up. All pupils, parents and teachers have to have the opportunity to participate; participation platforms should reflect the composition of the population of the school, which is not the case now.