Development of National Policy Road Maps & Synthesis Report

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Within the policy component of the project, the partner organization in cooperation with different stakeholders in Croatia, North Macedonia and Portugal through participatory methods developed National Policy Road Maps in order to set out a path for strengthening the students’ voice and participation in their schools and educational systems.
The Policy Road Maps are based on the theoretical background, analyses of existing policies in regard to student participation in the three countries, the experiences, and research done within the project as well as the collaborative work at the two policy events organized within the project.

The goal of the first policy event of the START THE CHANGE project “Policy and practice to Start the Change” was to introduce and raise awareness of the topic of students’ participation and the importance of students’ voices in connection with policy change. Having that in mind, this policy event was about “setting the stage” for future policy activity: introducing the topic of the students’ voice as a right and its importance to the relevant stakeholders, a deeper understanding of the topic and importance of policy change with that in mind.

The second policy event “Students’ participation – a path towards an inclusive and democratic society” – Policy Lab gathered teachers from 15 schools in Croatia, North Macedonia and Portugal and the policymakers from the educational field who met in person and exchanged their experiences in this project and discussed further recommendations for the strengthening of the students’ voice and participation in their schools and educational systems. The main objective of the event was to generate recommendations focused on overcoming the insufficient participation of students in the decision-making process in school life and governance at all levels with a special focus on the potential for student participation to improve inclusion and combat the negative effects of student disengagement such as radicalization.

The Policy Goals set during the event were contextualized and different for each country: in Croatia, it is to ensure schools are a safe and empowering environment for students’ participation, in North Macedonia, it is to enhance student participation in education, while in Portugal it is to promote active student participation in schools and local communities.

Based on the gathered information the authors of the Policy Road Maps in cooperation with the national implementing partners and with guidance from the Network of Education Policy Centers further developed objectives, actions, and steps that can guide policymakers, schools as well as other interested stakeholders in strengthening student voice in each country.

The synthesis report compares, analyses and summarises the three National Policy Road Maps in order to provide learning between the countries as well as to serve as a possible inspiration to other countries that wish to strengthen the students’ voice in their schools and in the policy process.

These documents are ready to be used, not only to disseminate the results and outputs of the project to all stakeholders but also as an advocacy tool and to influence the education policy in each country and the EU.

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