Should Students Be Involved in the Hiring of Teachers?


I am all for innovation in education, but I am not quite sure what would be achieved by allowing students to interview perspective teachers. One might say that children have a very strong grasp of the type of teacher they work best with. But just wait a minute. Isn’t it the responsibility of management to understand the needs of their students? Surely putting children on the selection panel is an admission that the people in charge are too out of touch to properly understand the needs and preferences of their students:


Panels of students are being used to interview and hire teachers at Victorian schools.

The move has been applauded by the Victorian Student Representative Council but the Australian Education Union said students did not have the “depth of knowledge” to decide who was employed at schools.

VSRC young media spokeswoman Tess Shacklock, who sits on a student selection panel at Templestowe College, said students provided an important and different perspective.

“It’s the students who are being taught by the teachers so it’s important that students have a say in whether they are employed. You get a good idea of a person when you look at their resume, but when you see them in a room you really see how they interact.”

The Year 12 student said some prospective teachers were visibly nervous when they sat in front of the young panel.  

Melton West Primary School, Eltham High School and St Helena Secondary College are among a handful of Victorian schools that also use student selection panels.

Teachers vying for a job at St Helena Secondary College are interviewed by a panel of teachers and then another made up of three students who are in years 9 to 12. The students share their notes with the other panel at the end of the day.



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5 Responses to “Should Students Be Involved in the Hiring of Teachers?”

  1. Jason Preater Says:

    I think this is a poor idea even in a democratic school where children are involved in many other decisions that directly affect their lives. I’m not even in favour of doing show lessons to give the applicant a chance to demonstrate her skills: senior staff should be able to evaluate the teacher without this kind of thing.

    • Michael G. Says:

      Interesting. I personally like the demonstration lesson. It is so easy to make out you are a certain type of teacher. It is much harder to actually demonstrate it in a classroom setting.

      • Jason Preater Says:

        You have a point there. We once had a teacher who was totally convincing in telling us that she would be able to organise her young kids’ history curriculum through project work. That was the first and last whiff of a history project! I don’t think a demonstration lesson would have helped much though.

  2. English Expressions Says:

    This is an interesting debate! I think most students wouldn’t take this responsibility seriously enough, and end up hiring a ‘cool’ teacher instead of a more qualified teacher. Their education will suffer if they don’t hire a teacher who is actually passionate about education and helping students. Having a teacher you may not get along with personally will help you learn how to get along and work with all types of people, and develop qualities like patience, tolerance, and respect. Plus, variety is the spice of life!

  3. Mrs. Carpino Says:

    I understand the concept of including students on the hiring board, however allowing them to make the sole decision seems a little much. Employees at a fast food restaurant don’t get to hire their managers. Employees at an office don’t decide who gets the corner office.

    Heck, even teachers don’t get to decide who their principal is! At least at my school, it’s considered a conflict of interest to have active teachers on the hiring board.

    The person who makes the final decision needs to be able to maintain objectivity and have a professional background upon which to base their decision.

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