What children and young people say
What children and young people say

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

What children and young people say

4 Valuing and using what we learn from children

What use is made of children’s views and perspectives? Are they genuinely taken into account when making decisions about laws, policies and practices, or are they put to one side while adults do what they think best? Is consultation genuine or dies it simply allow us to tick the participation box? In terms of Roger Hart’s ladder of participation (1997), how far has the gathering of children’s views been an exercise in tokenism, decoration, or even manipulation?

One young man in the Kidspeak consultation on domestic violence put it this way:

There is a likelihood that women’s organisations have probably told you some of the things we are, AGES ago. What is the difference between hearing it from them as opposed to us? Does it mean you are going to act more quickly because you are hearing it from us or can we expect more of the same?

(Marcus, 17 years old, quoted in Barron, 2007, p. 26)
The Youth Parliament meeting in the Chamber of the House of Lords
Terry Moore
Figure 4 The Youth Parliament meeting in the Chamber of the House of Lords

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus