AbstractThe aim of this study is to contribute to develop knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon school life quality for working students by taking the perspective of the students themselves investigating what they perceive as positive or/and negative about their school life. Further objectives of the study are to investigate how work, parents and school may influence on their school life. The study is conducted among working students in a primary school in a district in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.A questionnaire is used to get information about students’ general background particularly relating to work and school. The main study is qualitative using a phenomenological approach. Six students from grade 8 are selected for in-depth interviews. Parents of the students as well as two principals are interviewed while focus group discussion is used to get data from teachers in grade 8. The collected data are analysed according to a phenomenological-thematic analysis model.Findings indicate that what contributes to students’ quality of school life seems first of all to be their relation to the teachers. The devotion of the teachers and the caring interaction between teacher and student are perceived by them to be essential. Further the students express as important to get knowledge, as that is considered to give them the opportunity to improve their lives in the future. Physical conditions related to school are perceived differently. These aspects are discussed in relation to the following dimensions fetched from a phenomenological study conducted by Tangen (1998) on school life quality: “Dimension of Time”, “Relation to Others”, “Dimension of Work (Content)” and “Control of one’s own School Life”.The answers to the questionnaires indicate that the students are involved in many different kinds of activities and most of them working in order to assist their family. How work influences on their education seems to depend on their own perception of the work they do, whether they like it or not, and to what extent it is an obligation. The principals and the teachers as well as the parents all express positive attitudes to education, mainly as a means to secure a better future life. Related to the working students’ conditions, however, data show that the teachers and the principals seem to base their information on assumptions. Further the findings reveal lack of cooperation between school and parents.Considering the fact that the majority of the students work it seems to be lack of awareness and knowledge on the importance of identifying the conditions of the working students in order to reveal how work may influence on the quality of the school life of every individual student.From the findings recommendations are made. In order to secure quality of school life for working students the teachers need to listen to the voices of their students to understand and to get knowledge about their conditions. Teachers should be empowered to develop competence within areas of special needs education, particularly on assessment which also means including the parents in a closer cooperation.