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Having a Say at School - a research project on Pupil Councils in Scotland (2006-2009)

This three year, in-depth look at pupil councils in Scotland was researched by Children in Scotland and the University of Edinburgh, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

Having a Say at School (HASAS), the largest Scottish study of pupil councils ever undertaken, identified ways to boost pupil council effectiveness including establishing a fair process for selecting representatives, enhancing good two-way communication, and ensuring continuity from year to year – with the biggest influence on success being the attitude of staff and adult advisors.

The study provided the first evidence ever on the realities of pupil councils nationwide, and was based on research in every secondary, independent and special school in Scotland, a large sample of primary schools, and all 32 local authorities.

Results show pupil councils differ in how they are set up and run, but that they can be a vital link in the chain of decision making within a school, giving students a real voice in improving school life.

To find out more about this research, visit the project website: