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Selby High School

Selby High School

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Student Voice and Headteacher's Student Interviews

At Selby High School we believe that working together we achieve more.

Student Voice is a really important aspect of life at Selby High School. Students know and understand that their views and concerns are listened to and issues are addressed.

The Student Council, together with the :-


  • Catering
  • Student Services
  • Learning resources & equipment
  • Inside spaces
  • Student responsibility


  • Teaching & learning and courses
  • Enrichment opportunities & clubs
  • Reward vouchers
  • Behaviour & discipline
  • Counselling


  • Re-cycling
  • Sustainable measures
  • Growing area
  • Outside spaces
  • Carbon reduction & financial savings

play a key role in enabling student voices to be heard, together with the House Councils.

As well as working closely with the President, Vice President and Chairs of the other three councils, in order to give the students a clear voice, each week Mr. Eckersley undertakes interviews with students at the school.

The students invited to the interviews are selected randomly. The aim of these interviews is to quality assure the experiences of the students at Selby High School and also to give the students an additional voice. The views of students are important and are taken into account in formulating future developments at the school. These interviews are also important in addressing other issues that may concern the students.

Summary of Interviews
Between 2004 and 2011 I interviewed 1,337 students
Year 7 269
Year 8 270
Year 9 261
Year 10 284
Year 11 236

Since 1st November 2011 I have been conducting new style Headteacher Student Interviews. These are larger group interviews than previously was the case. The groups consist of up to six students and the interviews are scheduled to last for half an hour. Since the introduction of these interviews, I have interviewed 1,156 students (664 students in Years 7, 8 & 9 and 492 students in Years 10 & 11).

The questions explore a whole gambit of issues.

  • Changes needed
  • Targets and progress
  • Feeling safe
  • VIVO reward points
  • Confiding in people
  • Enrichment activities
  • House competitions
  • Tutor Group activities
  • Behaviour
  • Attendance

Without question the 1,156 students interviewed to date stated that they felt safe at the school. Students are aware of the safeguarding arrangements at the school, really like the fact that there are always a large number of staff around who are easy to see, because they wear ‘high vis’ jackets when they are on duty and the new gates and railings.

Equally, they unanimously agreed that the school promoted equality and all subscribed to the commitment for zero tolerance on bullying. They all recognised that bullying was not tolerated and Selby High School was a ‘telling school’, which dealt with bullying and any racism fairly and firmly. Moreover, all those interviewed clearly indicated that there was at least one teacher, more for the vast majority, that they could go to if they had a problem.

All students, without exception, knew what their targets were; how well they were doing with regard to achieving those targets and the progress they were making.

All students spoke highly of the transition arrangements at both Year 6/7 and Year 11/12. The very good suggestion of students being part of the Year 6/7 transition has been implemented. The acquiring of work based skills was also highly praised by the older students who recognised the contribution made by all areas of the curriculum in this regard.

Students were extremely complementary about the availability of ICT equipment and the access to computers, together with the introduction of the increased Wi-Fi capability and mobile ICT. Equally, the students recognised the nutritional and healthy food that was available at the school coupled with physical education, PSHEE&C and science curricula which meant we were a Healthy School.

Enrichment opportunities play a key role, both at lunchtime and after school, within the school. Students were quick to acknowledge this and in the main did not feel that any major barriers existed in respect of student involvement only the will or otherwise to become involved. Younger students could point to occasional transport problems surrounding the lack of late buses as a limiting factor. Students are appreciative of the introduction of House competitions which are not sport related. This will mean that more students will feel that they can contribute even more positively to the Buttery and Benedict than they currently do.

Students invariably like the introduction of the VIVO reward points system They like the fact that they get more points under this system; they can save up for things; the range of things available to exchange for their points is hugely improved and they can check their account on line. Equally they are appreciative that the school can also analyse how points are being awarded and by whom.

Students support the provision of lockers for all students, but realise that it is going to take some time to install this amount of lockers. At the current installation rate it will take another twelve years. Students are looking forward to the building larger wheelchair friendly PE changing rooms, together with some additional classrooms.

Students recognise the improvement in students’ behaviour and appreciate staff who take firm, decisive, but fair action. Upper school students clearly indicated that the vast majority of students were focused on the need to achieve good qualifications with regard to them having choices and chances in life.

Paul Eckersley
April 2015