Role Play lesson plan: Who should have the power?

These lesson plans were developed by Unlock Democracy for their Autonomy Project.

Learning objectives

  • To understand different levels of decision making
  • To empathise with different decision making figures
  • To form judgements on levels of local autonomy


Who makes what decisions in your house? Write down three decisions you make yourself, three decisions your guardian makes for you and at least one reason why they make that decision for you.

Main Activity

The main activity will look at who should decide what curriculum is taught in schools.

Group Work

Split the class into up to 8 groups.

Give each group one of the following stakeholders

  • The pupils
  • The parents
  • The teachers
  • The head teacher
  • The Local Authority
  • The devolved parliament or assembly (if relevant)
  • The national Parliament
  • The European Union

That group will be a representative for their stake holder and argue that they should have the power. Allow the group time to prepare the case for why they should make the decision. (You could choose the spokesman from the group to allow for differentiation). 

Whole Class work

Allow each spokesman one minute (or longer if you wish) to argue why they should have the power and allow the other groups (not just spokesman) to ask them questions.


After all of the groups have had the chance to put forward their case get the class as individuals to order who they think should have the power 1-8 and ask them to justify their decisions.


Research task: Who does decide on the curriculum in your school?

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