This paper explores the application of Article 12 of the uncrc to education in England, with specific emphasis on children’s involvement in definitions of “suitable education” in the context of English schools. It is demonstrated that, despite a claimed commitment to children’s rights by the uk government, little progress has been made in relation to Article 12 and pupil participation in education policy and practice. It is argued that this is because the school environment views children from within a paternalistic framework and the available mechanisms for children to participate are adult-defined and controlled and this limits what children are able to say. The paper concludes by suggesting some reasons why this state of affairs exists and what might be done to remedy it.
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