Should we silence student voice?

Thursday 26 September, 5.00pm until 7.00pm, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Abbey Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7BQ UK Satellite Events 2013

Event is free but ticketed. Please contact [email protected] to book

The question of student satisfaction is of growing importance across schools and universities, with organisations such as Student Voice increasingly encouraging institutions to involve their student body in everyday decision-making. Even in schools, ‘pupil voice’ is increasingly influential. For some, such moves are uncontroversial: not only developing more informed, engaged citizens but also improving the quality of their educational experience. Yet others are concerned that such a focus on the students is a dangerous inversion of the traditional structures of authority, particularly the teacher-student relationship. Does student voice risk devaluing education or offer students the opportunity for a fairer deal? Is there a danger that education becomes a consumer experience rather than an academic one? Are they often just PR exercises engaged in by education authorities, or is there something sincere and real about their interest in students’ opinions?

Asher Jacobsberg
director, involver; co-founder, Smart School Councils Community

Priyanka Jeyershanker
member, StudentVoice Steering Group

Richard Swan
writer and academic

Dr Joanna Williams
academic; author, Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity; education editor, spiked

Claire Fox
director, Academy of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze; author, I Find That Offensive

Produced by
David Bowden associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer
Tom Finn-Kelcey head of faculty, Social Sciences, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, Kent
Recommended readings
Should we silence the Student Voice?

Constantly asking students about what should be taught corrodes the authority of lecturers - and knowledge.

Joanna Williams, spiked, 24 September 2013

Session partners