Best Practice

What is Student Impact?

If we are to transform our schooling system then we must truly engage with our students. While student voice or student leadership is common practice, Tom Middlehurst argues that we need to embrace a new concept – Student Impact.

The SSAT’s working definition of Student Impact is what happens “when students have a real impact on their own and other’s learning experiences through meaningful student voice and leadership”.

What we are talking about, then, is any structured activity within a school that engages with students in a meaningful way, and enables them to have an impact.

Taken at its broadest, this could include the millions of informal, day-to-day interactions between staff and students. As Professor David Hargreaves notes, “in this sense, all teachers from time-to-time encourage and are involved in student (impact)”.

However, to distinguish Student Impact from what is essentially good pedagogy, SSAT interprets the term as the more formal, planned ways of engaging students to have an impact. 

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