Promoting student agency​

This tool provides simple prompts to help students identify the environment and structures that will help them feel secure, valued, and best positioned to be active contributors to planning their personalised learning.

Planning tool for promoting student agency within planning personalised learning

Some students may prefer to complete this independently, while others might complete it with a teacher. Consider whether the prompts need to be presented in a different format for specific students. For example, meet with the student and use personalised visuals, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), brief verbal prompts, or PhotoVoice to understand their preferences, and share resources that may support their agency. Where possible, for students at the beginning stages of learning English as an additional language or dialect consider providing language support through School Learning Support Officer Bilingual or translating and interpreting services.

Selecting times when students are calm and in an appropriate mind set to engage in this process will support successful plan development. As students share their ideas, preferences and concerns, acknowledge their views, and respond with respect for their voice and decisions. Where students identify barriers to their participation, explore and plan for a range of possible strategies to address these barriers. This tool should be reflected on regularly, to capture the changing needs and growth of students, and to continue to work towards increased student agency.

This tool is designed to support teachers and learning and support teams with planning practical adjustments that support student agency and participation. Further questions may be needed to facilitate a deeper understanding of the student’s preferences and ideas, and to put their preferences and ideas into action. For example, if a student does not wish to attend a meeting, or to plan the agenda, they may still like to provide feedback on what you’re planning to discuss (for example, anything they feel is missing or should not be discussed). Or, if a student wants to co-lead or lead parts of the meeting, you may need to spend time together identifying skills they can develop to support this, and making decisions about which parts of the meeting they would like to present. 

School Excellence Framework alignment


Effective classroom practice

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers alignment

Standard 1: Know students and how they learn


School leaders, teachers


School staff can use these resources to foster student agency and engagement in planning meetings.

Timeframes and when to use

This resource can be used at any time a student requires additional support

Evidence base

This resource was developed with the AllPlay Learn team who conducted a series of systematic reviews of the empirical literature, with over 177,000 articles screened. The resources remain up-to-date, with content reflecting best practice reviewed by a world-class multidisciplinary research team, led by Monash University.


June 2022. Share your feedback here