PART 3: CHILDREN'S OUTCOMES - SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL

Participation in Decision Making

Effective student participation in school decision-making contributes to the improvement of school practices 37 and builds the confidence and self-esteem of students 38

Participation in making the school rules

Measure

The percentage of children aged 9-17 who report students at their school participate in making the school rules.

Key findings

  • In 2006, 22.5% of children aged 9-17 reported that students at their school participate in making the school rules (see Table 60).

Differences by gender, age and social class

  • The percentage of children who reported that students in their school participate in making the school rules is relatively stable across gender (see Table 60).
  • The percentage of children who reported that students in their school participate in making the school rules was higher among younger children and children from lower social classes:
    • 42.9% of children aged 9, compared to 15% aged 15-17;
    • 24.1% of children in SC 5-6, compared to 19.6% in SC 1-2.

Table 60: Percentage of children who report that students at their school participate in making the school rules, by gender, age and social class (2002 and 2006)

    2002     2006  
  Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total
Total 25.0 22.4 23.5 21.9 23.1 22.5
Age            
9 years - - - 42.3 43.6 42.9
10-11 years 33.7 38.0 36.0 33.2 42.5 38.7
12-14 years 27.9 23.9 25.6 24.6 23.6 24.1
15-17 years 15.5 13.9 14.6 15.9 14.0 15.0
Social class            
SC 1-2 23.4 20.3 21.5 19.2 20.0 19.6
SC 3-4 26.5 21.3 23.5 21.8 22.8 22.3
SC 5-6 26.8 26.9 26.8 22.7 25.4 24.1

Source: HBSC Survey

Differences by geographic area

  • Children in the Dublin region are more likely (28.1%) to report that students at their school participate in making the school rules, while children in the Mid-West region are least likely (17.2%) to report this (see Table 61).

Table 61: Percentage of children who report that students at their school participate in making the school rules, by NUTS Region (2006)

  2006
Border 21.5
Midlands 21.3
West 19.4
Dublin 28.1
Mid-East 19.4
Mid-West 17.2
South-East 20.0
South-West 24.1
Overall 22.5

Source: HBSC Survey

International comparisons

  • From the 2006 HBSC Survey, using the ages of 11, 13, and 15 only to draw international comparisons, 24.9% of Irish children reported that students in their school participate in making the school rules (see Figure 23). This compared with the HBSC average of 33.8%.
  • Among the 7 countries and regions that used this HBSC item, the lowest percentage for this indicator was found among children from Ireland (24.9%) and the highest among children from Macedonia (50.3%). Overall, Irish children ranked 7th (last).
  • Among the 14 countries and regions that used this HBSC item in 2002, Irish children ranked 13th (23.5%).

Figure 23: Percentage of children who report that students at their school participate
in making the school rules, by country (2006)

Technical notes
All data presented are drawn from self-report, self-completion questionnaires completed by children in schools. Thus, they are subject to potential biases in relation to self-presentation and memory. These measures may suffer from social desirability bias.

Percentage differences are presented for descriptive purposes only and may not reflect a statistically significant finding.

Social class (SC) is classified into one of the following groups (introduced in 1996 by the CSO), defined on the basis of occupation:
SC I: Professional
SC 2: Managerial
SC 3: Non-manual
SC 4: Skilled manual
SC 5: Semi-skilled
SC 6: Unskilled

NUTS is an acronym for the EU Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. This classification was legally established by EU Regulation No. 1059/2003 on 29 May 2003. In Ireland, NUTS is classified hierarchically as Level 1 – Ireland; Level 2 – Regions; and Level 3 – Regional Authorities. The 8 Regional Authorities in Ireland (NUTS 3 regions) were established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (see Appendix 2).

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37 Rafferty, S. (1997) Giving Children a Voice What Next? A study from one primary school. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.

38 Doddington, C., Flutter, J. and Ruddock, J. (2000) 'Taking their Word for it: Can listening, and responding, to pupils' views give new directions for school improvement?', Education, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 46-51.