The Contribution of Student Leadership to School Transformation


  • Malcolm Groves University of Warwick, Institute of Education
  • Malcolm Groves University of Warwick



This paper reports preliminary findings from case study research in three English secondary schools where a new or recently appointed head has incorporated stakeholder engagement as a key part of their improvement strategy. In each school, developments initiated independently by each head in relation to student leadership are reported. These appear to be re-thinking the boundaries of current practice in relation to student voice, particularly with respect to developing the leadership role of students as agents of change and in beginning to extend that beyond the school into their communities.The research focuses on seeking to understand the processes of change in each case. The models and practices adopted by each head in implementing change are analysed and the effects of this experience, as reported by the students, are considered. Initial findings highlight factors that appear to contribute to successful developments, and the paper concludes with suggestions for further research and investigation to confirm this.



Student voice, student leadership, stakeholder engagement, school transformation


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Meeting of students and teachers






Issue 1 Themed Section: In Schools