The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Planning For Me? Planning With Me. Placing Lundy's Model of Child Participation at the Heart of Individual Education Plans

Claire P. Griffin, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland (Ireland)


Recent years have seen a strong focus on the rights of children and young people, particularly in relation to hearing their voices. In this regard, a plethora of international legislative and policy documents have outlined that children and young people have a right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them. From an educational viewpoint, research highlights the positive effect on both students and teachers when learner voice is engaged. Examples include fostering a sense of empowerment and agency in the learner, supporting the learner's leadership potential, and positively impacting student-teacher relationships. Although many international education systems have made significant progress in relation to inclusive education and individualised student planning, a review of the literature shows that student voice is typically under-valued and under-utilised in practice. In light of this, this paper seeks to critically reflect on the importance of giving due weight to student voice when planning for and with students with special or additional needs. In this regard, Laura Lundy's (2007) Model of Child Participation is positioned as a central framework for guiding this process, with reference to the four key elements of space, voice, audience and influence. Additionally, the author draws on a range of child-friendly strategies for eliciting student voice, with reference to 'Personal Construct Psychology'. Acknowledging the complexity of eliciting student voice and acting on it meaningfully, the need for careful planning and related training/expertise is emphasised across educational contexts. Ultimately, this paper argues that to ensure all students reach their full potential across both the formal and informal curriculum, all individual education plans require significantly more than a tokenistic nod to child participation (Hart, 1992).




individual education planning;

Lundy's Model of Participation;

Personal Construct Psychology



[1] Lundy, L. (2007). Voice is Not Enough: Conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. British Educational Research Journal, 33(6), 927-942.

[2] Hart, R. (1992) Children’s Participation: From Tokenism to Citizenship. UNICEF Innocenti Essays, No. 4, Florence, Italy: International Child Development Centre of UNICEF.



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