18 Jan 2008

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, has welcomed the approval and support of the court for the role of school councils in helping schools develop and change school policies.

The Commissioner had been asked by the court to give an opinion in the case and welcomed the opportunity to do so.

“I am delighted that the court has agreed on the importance of schools listening to the views of pupils, and that schools councils are an important way that this is done,” said Ms Lewsley.

“The court’s opinion that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child must be considered is particularly welcome, especially as the Convention is clear that children should have a say in decisions that affect their lives.”

The court’s decision was given verbally and the written judgement will appear later.

“Myself and my team will now take time to examine the written judgment,” said the Commissioner.

NICCY has produced a set of guidance to help schools develop democracy in school, including schools councils.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or   communications@niccy.org