At Clayton Hall Academy the views of students are important and we seek them in two main ways, structured Student Voice surveys, and in the wider sense of communication with students.
Structured student voice activities take place on a schedule over the school year and we reach a high proportion of students by using an on-line survey designed to seek the views of students concerning various areas of school life.
Students also appreciate being listened to face to face and as well as on-line surveys, staff get groups of students together for discussions about what is important to students and we often do this if we are considering a policy or procedure change. An example is where we reviewed the school behaviour policy, and student voice was instrumental in informing the way the policy was written.
Student’s views are considered when we recruit a new member of staff, we use a panel of students who run a student interview with the candidate, following this their opinions are fed back to the principal and this contributes to the overall decision. Students also conduct school tours for potential students and staff in order for people to gain a true perspective of the academy from a student’s view.
More informally, the pastoral structure of the school encourages communication and getting a feel for the student voice. Students start the day with form time where they spend time with their form tutor, a member of staff that will stay with them through KS3 and KS4. Each tutor is part of a House and each House has a dedicated non-teaching House Leader. The pastoral team meets formally once a week and issues coming through the House structure are fed into the leadership of the school and information can then be cascaded back through the pastoral structure to form groups.
The student voice is always a key factor in determining developments and policy making in school. As students progress through the school their involvement in leadership develops. Each form has a Captain and a Vice-Captain. We develop a cadre of Prefects who paly an important part in the link between staff and students. Our Principal’s Prefects are ambassadors for the school and an important part of the communication process with parents and prospective parents. Hearing the Principal’s Prefects speak at public events is the best possible evidence of how the school develops the Resilience, Independence and Confidence of our students.