chapter  2
9 Pages

The rights of the child

ByMary Kellett

This chapter explores inherent tensions in the shift towards children’s rights, articulated in child participation and voice policies, with power dynamics in schools. It focuses mainly on the English educational sector, although illustrative material is also drawn from other global nations. Fundamental children’s rights are depicted alongside some teachers’ fears that progressive embracement of those rights risks destabilizing and subverting core educational principles and practice. The chapter begins with a brief exposition of the contemporary status of children’s rights and how some of these have evolved in school environments. The body of the chapter discusses those articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that impact on children’s educational experiences and the role of educational professionals. A major focus is the perspectives of children themselves as depicted through child agency and child-led research. It concludes with a reflection on future directions and likely global responses.