What is a Democratic School?

The Council of Europe understands a democratic school as:

  • A school which upholds human rights, democracy and the rule of law – the core values of the Council of Europe.
  • A school with a whole school approach to democratic principles; which puts theory into practice, from the content of lessons through to the school culture and management structure.
  • A school with a democratic culture, which includes and involves all students, of all backgrounds, nationalities, and beliefs, in an age-appropriate way.
  • A school which provides quality education for all students.

Council of Europe Democratic Schools Pledge

Our school promises to:

Share our work with other schools.

Work continually to create and sustain a democratic culture within our school.

Uphold the Council of Europe’s values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law in our daily practice.

Council of Europe definition of ‘Quality Education

Gives access to learning to all pupils and students, particularly those in vulnerable or disadvantaged groups, adapted to their needs as appropriate;

Provides a secure and non-violent learning environment in which the rights of all are respected;

Develops each pupil’s and student’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential and encourages them to complete the educational programmes in which they enroll;

Promotes democracy, respect for human rights and social justice in a learning environment which recognises everyone’s learning and social needs;

Enables pupils and students to develop appropriate competences, self-confidence and critical thinking to help them become responsible citizens and improve their employability;

Passes on universal and local cultural values to pupils and students while equipping them also to make their own decisions;

Certifies outcomes of formal and non-formal learning in a transparent way based on fair assessment enabling acquired knowledge and competences to be recognised for further study, employment and other purposes;

Relies on qualified teachers who are committed to continuous professional development;

Is free of corruption.