What is School PB
School PB is an educational tool for teachers and students to practice knowledge gained in the classroom. Compared to „real“ PB at the city level, this is not very difficult and time consuming. It is fun, motivating and students can implement it easily. Children easily gain experience in practical democracy as a result of your efforts and see that their activity preferences and opinions lead to concrete solutions and real change.
Benefits of PB
Participation is an activity that brings immediate and long-term benefits to all stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, school, or school founder - the city). It is a win-win solution.
Can understand democratic principles, are involved in decisionmaking, can develop their creativity, financial literacy, communication and presentation skills, learn the active approach and learn to think within a particular context
Involve children in useful activities, improve atmosphere in the classroom, enhance mutual communication with children, and gain a new perspective on thinking, priorities, wishes and needs of their students
creates a democratic atmosphere, increases transparency, strengthens the confidence of students in school management, gives detailed insight into the opinions and thoughts of students, and is a tool to open communication with parents, contributing to better protection of students
School PB process
School PB process has 7 stages and can be easily managed within three weeks.
This phase is under the control of the school management. The financial requirements and the budget for individual projects are set up, as well as the scope of the projects, participants, timing and method of voting. The school disposes of a certain sum of money and allows its students to decide what to buy, organize, or repair for this sum. Students from the age of 9 years can participate and involve their parents as well.
Proposals and deliberation are simply discussions among the students, the goal of which is to propose suitable projects for PB. It is managed by a moderator and attended by the proponents of the projects or selected groups of students. The outcome is a list of projects, which goes to the school management to be evaluated and approved.
The list of projects is evaluated by the school management. After the exclusion of proposals that are not possible for some reason, the final list is presented to the entire school.
Proponents of the excluded projects should be clearly informed about the reasons for that decision, but might also be advised what to modify or change in the proposals to make them eligible.
Proponents need to gain the support of their schoolmates and even of parents. All forms of campaign are allowed, including, posters, leaflets, youtube videos, facebook pages etc. The campaign may be accompanied by an exhibition of individual projects, while each project has its own panel with further information displayed.
The list of approved projects is entered into a D21 voting application. Then, on-line voting takes place for one or more days. It is also possible to create apaper ballot voting system. The D21 voting algorithm, which enables voters to use multiple votes, can bring broader satisfaction with results.
Results are available immediately at the end of online voting. At this point, school management organizes an assembly for the entire school where the winning projects are presented. Announcement of the results can take place even less ceremoniously, on the school radio, for example.
The winning projects should be implemented according to their need and specific requirements as soon as possible. It is also important to repeat the whole process – PB should ideally take place once a semester.
How can D21 help you with your school PB?
D21 has prepared a detailed online guide for school coordinators, methodology for teachers, worksheets for pupils and a pack of promotional materials. You will receive all the documentation needed for each stage of school participatory budgeting in one place.
We offer you secure online voting and immediate results using our D21 online application, which is able to generate ballot papers for paper voting as well.
Reactions to PB
Marie Lejčková, principal of elementary school Bezručova, Říčany„A call for partnership with D21 emerged two years ago from a meeting of the school principals in the city of Říčany. Since then, our school hosted events in which students were asked to participate in decision-making. The aim was to involve children in decisions about school changes, to appropriately use financial subsidies from the city, to see the school through the eyes of the students and to motivate them to increase their sense of belonging to the school.”
Need more information?
We have prepared an e-book, which summarizes all information on school participation.Download e-book
Other services for schools
Surveys and data processing are very effective tools for setting priorities, defining positives, negatives, and risks (eg. early detection and identification of socially dangerous behavior). Surveys are modeled according to specific needs and requirements of the schools. It is an extremely valuable tool for all participants in the process: children, teachers, and school management.
School surveys should be prepared in collaboration with child psychologists and school counselors. Presenting the materials in an attractive way, adapted to age and based on good communication, is what motivates students to participate cheerfully and also lends greater validity to the results. The right approach makes every poll effective and undemanding without interrupting classes and regular school activities.
Enrichment of school parliaments
Student councils simulate representative democracy at the school level, teaching children how to think politically and how to participate in public life at school. Student councils can be effectively used within the framework of school participation: they can act as a platform for consultative referendums and surveys, and can actively generate new themes and set up a school agenda.