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ISSU Empowering Students
Every young person has the right to have their views taken seriously whenever decisions are being made about them. The ISSU is a platform and indeed a catalyst for change in the way we look at the participation of young people in schools and the involvement of young people in society, as a whole.
School is the place where young people spend the majority of their time. It is perhaps the most important community, other than home, in which we participate. For many it is a positive experience, but for others it is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. The ISSU has a dual role: we promote the benefits of young people becoming part of the decision-making process that affects their school lives, and we provide students with support for voicing their views and opinions.
Meaningful student participation occurs when young people actively engage with adults as partners through learning, teaching, social activism and leadership. The ISSU firmly believes that young people are not merely citizens in waiting and can contribute positively to society. To achieve this, we believe that we must challenge, empower, engage and listen to what young people have to say. Student Voice should never be a one-way process or a passive process; it should be active and engaging. Student participation inherently requires simply being listened to and those views being respected. There is hope for schools, embodied in the growing buzz of classrooms brought to life by the growing assertion of students’ ideas, opinions and knowledge.There is hope for students, made real when students are engaged as education planners, researchers, evaluators, contributors, decision-makers and advocates. To achieve meaningful student voice requires strong partnership, patience and courage.