Publication - Research publication

Young people's participation in decision making in Scotland: attitudes and perceptions

Published: 6 Mar 2018
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education, Research
ISBN:
9781788515863

Findings from a survey of secondary school pupils on perception of their ability to influence decisions that affect them.

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25 page PDF

609.0 kB

Contents
Young people's participation in decision making in Scotland: attitudes and perceptions
3. Views on decision making in out-of-school activities

25 page PDF

609.0 kB

3. Views on decision making in out-of-school activities

Pupils who took part in out-of-school activities and groups were also asked a series of similar questions about their perceptions of adults regarding decision making in those activities.

Just under two thirds (63 per cent) took part in out-of-school activities. Participation was highest among S1 pupils (77 per cent) and then reduced to S5 (53 per cent), increasing again in S6 (65 per cent). White pupils, children without a health condition, and those living in the least deprived areas were slightly more likely to participate in such activities.

Pupils were asked to agree or disagree with three statements about the adults that run these out-of-school activities:

  • I feel able to let the adults know my views on how those groups/activities are run
  • Adults are good at listening to my views, in those groups/activities
  • Adults are good at taking my views into account when making decisions that affect me, in those groups/activities

Ability to make views known

Perceptions of adults running out-of-school activities were more positive than for adults in general. Seven in ten respondents agreed that they could let adults who run these groups or activities know their views on how the groups or activities were run (just under a third agreed strongly). Eight per cent disagreed (two per cent disagreed strongly). Figure 3.1 illustrates.

Figure 3.1 Agreement with statement 'I feel able to let adults know my views on how the groups/activities are run'
Figure 3.1 Agreement with statement 'I feel able to let adults know my views on how the groups/activities are run'

Base: 1137

Boys were more positive, with 74 per cent saying they agreed that they could make their views known, compared to 67 per cent of girls.

Unlike previous questions, there was no consistent pattern by school year. As Figure 3.2 shows, S6 pupils were most likely to agree (77 per cent) that they could make their views known, while S3 pupils were least likely to agree (65 per cent). The other school years were broadly similar (69 to 72 per cent). There was also little difference between any school years in the percentage of pupils that disagreed.

Pupils with a physical or mental health condition were less likely to agree (64 per cent) than those without one (73 per cent).

Figure 3.2 Agreement with statement 'I feel able to let adults know my views on how the groups/activities are run', by school year
Figure 3.2 Agreement with statement 'I feel able to let adults know my views on how the groups/activities are run', by school year

Base: 1127

Adults listening to young people

Pupils were also asked their views on adults who run the groups and activities listening to their views. As Figure 3.3 shows, seven in ten respondents agreed that adults running the groups or activities were good at listing to their views (just under three in ten who strongly agreed). Eight per cent disagreed (two per cent strongly disagreed).

The gender difference was relatively small, with 73 per cent of boys and 68 per cent of girls agreeing that adults are good at listening to their views.

Figure 3.3 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at listening to my views, in these groups/activities'
Figure 3.3 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at listening to my views, in these groups/activities'

Base: 1137

S1 pupils were most likely to agree that adults running the groups or activities were good at listening to their views (79 per cent), and S5 pupils the least likely (65 per cent). Figure 3.4 presents data.

Pupils from the least deprived quintile were most likely to agree that adults running the groups or activities were good at listing to their views (76 per cent) compared to other quintiles (66 to 71 per cent). There was no consistent pattern within this.

Figure 3.4 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at listening to my views, in these groups/activities', by school year
Figure 3.4 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at listening to my views, in these groups/activities', by school year

Base: 1127

Adults taking young people's views into account

Finally, pupils were asked how good the adults who run the groups or activities are at taking their views into account when making decisions that affect them. As Figure 3.5 shows, two thirds of respondents (66 per cent) agreed that adults in the groups or activities were good at taking their views into account when making decisions that affect them, while only 8 per cent disagreed.

Figure 3.5 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at taking my views into account when making decisions that affect me, in these groups/activities'
Figure 3.5 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at taking my views into account when making decisions that affect me, in these groups/activities'

Base: 1137

Figure 3.6 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at taking my views into account when making decisions that affect me, in these groups/activities'
Figure 3.6 Agreement with statement 'Adults are good at taking my views into account when making decisions that affect me, in these groups/activities'

Base: 1127

As Figure 3.6 shows, S1 pupils were most likely to agree that adults in the groups or activities were good at taking their views into account when making decisions that affect them (75 per cent), and S5 pupils the least likely (59 per cent). There was no consistent pattern for other years, although the percentage that disagreed increased between S1 and S5.

Pupils from the least deprived quintile were most likely to agree that adults in the groups or activities were good at taking their views into account when making decisions that affect them (72 per cent) compared to the other quintiles (61 to 66 per cent).


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