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Are schools more effective if students are allowed to participate in running the school?

IELTS Writing Test

Writing Task 2

You should spend around 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Some people think that schools are more effective if students are allowed to participate in running the school.

Say whether you agree or disagree with this statement, and give your own opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any examples from your personal experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

IELTS Essay Answer

While greater student engagement in the education process is always to be encouraged, there are certain limitations as to what can realistically be expected from students in terms of the daily operational activities of an educational institution. It is therefore necessary to adopt a balanced approach to student involvement whilst still achieving the best possible educational outcomes.

Undoubtedly, there are benefits to students becoming bigger stakeholders in their schools, such as helping develop a sense of responsibility and pride, in addition to them learning more about relevant decision making processes. Whilst many students may have a variety of ideas regarding how their school and education experience could be improved, not all of these might be practical or even desirable. It is, however, important that student input is obtained in major decisions so that those responsible for making such decisions are informed by the student perspective regarding the issues being considered. However, students are not educational experts.

While students should be a key part of decision; providing their unique perspective regarding their school and their experience of the education process, they are generally unaware of the bigger picture and might fail to grasp the implications of industry trends, national education policy, and the impact of a broad range of factors influencing educational outcomes. Therefore, encouraging greater student engagement in their school should be carefully considered in order to ensure that any such involvement is truly a positive and constructive experience for all involved, and not simply a means of placating the students desires to be further involved.

Overall, how effective a particular school is depends largely on a host of different factors which can impact outcomes, not all of which are within the control of the school authorities or students. Greater involvement by students is something to be positively sought and encouraged, but it also needs to be tempered with identifying areas in which they can make an optimal contribution rather than trying to include them in all aspects of running their school.

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