The Legal Status of Pupils in Europe: Yearbook of the European Association for Education Law and Policy

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In the centre of the whole educational cosmos stands the pupil, the student. He or she has rights, sanctioned by a national and international judicial apparatus. The freedoms of parents, teachers and education establishments are functional in the service of the rights of the user of education , as is the government's assignment. They hold a joint responsibility with regard to the right of a young person to be educated, and a fortiori of the school-age young person. The context in which education takes place is nevertheless undergoing major change. In recent times, schools have been presenting themselves more as brittle social institutions, sensitive to internal and external conflicts. If every education establishment is a crossroads of legal relationships, this does not leave the pupil or student untouched. He or she can seek recourse to fundamental rights; but against these can be set certain obligations - and in the first place the obligation to take account of the rights of fellow pupils and students. Educational sociologists have for some time been interested in the rela- tionship between the behaviour of pupils and the quality and effectiveness of the school. I Practitioners of law in general, and education law in particular, could not ignore the legal status of the education user. It immediately became apparent how interwoven education is with a diversity of disciplines within the legal domain, as well as with other scientific disciplines.