chapter  4
12 Pages

Students as creative consultants: researching and developing a new pastoral system

Chapter overview This chapter documents how a small group of young people were placed in positions of governance, and the effects of this on a school. In this example, from Guthlaxton College, in the East Midlands, teachers and creative practitioners provided the young people with quite extensive training which was seen as necessary for them to fulfil their role effectively. As a consequence of the project, adult expectations of what young people were capable of increased as the young people engaged in decision making about key processes in school life. Challenging adult perceptions of young people may be an important way in which creative approaches can contribute to a school culture. The elements of the school’s challenge can be characterised as:

„ the need to develop students as independent learners; „ the pressure to personalise learner experiences and maximise their potential in every aspect of their life at college in a very large institution (each year cohort contained over 500 students);

„ meeting the demands of an extensive examination orientated curriculum; „ understanding and working with students who were making a transition to a new school (at 14 years old) whilst also coming to terms with the physical and hormonal changes of adolescence, preparing for adulthood with many facing crisis in their home life.