In the news today, schools ‘should let children help pick teachers’:
More schools should involve pupils in the recruitment of teachers, says the children’s commissioner for England. A survey of 2,000 children aged nine to 16 for commissioner Maggie Atkinson found two-thirds would like a role in the recruitment process.
This is nothing new for Moortown, where pupils feedback each time we recruit a teacher. Most recently, when we recruited four new teachers, pupils were involved in three ways:
- candidates taught a short lesson and pupil reactions and learning was closely observed;
- a selection of pupils gave feedback – they were asked what they liked about the lesson and what they learnt;
- the School Council fed-back to a governor their views of the candidates – again, only the positive features of each candidate were discussed.
Interestingly, pupils could describe many aspects of the four successful candidates they liked and thought all four would be right for Moortown; their comments matched what adults also thought, having watched lessons, interviewed and assessed other selection tasks on the day.
Even as far back as my recruitment, around four years ago, the School Council were involved: they interviewed all the candidates and then passed on their views of each, with the whole process watched by an adult interested in how candidate and councillors interacted.
Some critics express concern that this undermines teachers. We feel that pupil voice can be one of a number of selection procedures, and won’t undermine the profession if the discussion only considers positive aspects of teachers and what they can bring to the school.