What does our school council do?
Our school councils are formal groups of pupils who act as representatives of their classmates in discussing school issues with the Executive Headteacher and staff. It’s a pupil led and inclusive way of representing and contributing Pupil Voice in our schools; with all staff and leaders ensuring that pupils have important input in the running of the school. Students are elected to represent the views of all pupils and also to improve their school. They help to make decisions about how the school is run and take on projects that support all children’s learning and development, such as organising charity events, representing the school at outside events or ensuring the school is environmentally friendly. The School councils are elected annually by the other children.
The school council does a number of things:
- The school council usually meets with a teacher present to discuss and sort out problems. These could include school lunches, behaviour or ideas for fundraising events.
- Members of the school council are responsible for carrying out the ideas that have been agreed upon, such as planning events, providing valuable feedback on the curriculum , writing newspaper articles, or meeting with catering staff.
- Each year, every class will normally elect two representatives from each year grouop to be members of the school council.
Why should you have a school council?
There are lots of reasons to have a school council. To begin with, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives. A school council can provide a meaningful way in which pupils can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions that impact upon them. Evidence and experience from schools all over the country shows that a school council that is supported and nurtured helps to improve many aspects of school life. It’s an important and useful way for schools to provide leadership and development opportunities for our pupils.
Student councils are a great way for students to take on leadership roles, promote the voice of the student body, problem solve and impact their community. A council serves as the voice for an entire student body and actively works with teachers and advisors to promote a better learning environment with small groups undertaking activities in response to priorities recommended and voted on by pupils.
Within our school curriculum, one of the key areas making up the ‘Learning for Life and Work’ theme is active participation. The curriculum requires that young people are provided with opportunities to participate in school and society. School councils are an excellent way in which to increase participation, teaching young people about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.
What makes a school council successful?
A good school council is one that represents the views of all students and gets things done. These are some things that make our school councils effective:
- Regular meetings.
- Councils that are not too big.
- Good communication between representatives and their class.
- Smaller groups (subcommittees) working on specific events or issues.
- A budget (however small)
- Annual evaluations.
What might be discussed during a school council?
Children are usually elected from classes all around the school, and the school councils are designed to provide an opportunity for them to be directly involved in general issues that affect the school. Our school councils at present represent the following areas, issues discussed can be wide-ranging and can be initiated by staff or pupil groups:
- Fun and Games - Organising Fundraising Events, suporting charitable causes and ensuring there is lots of fun!
- Teaching and Learning - Disucssion around the development of our curriclum, appointment of staff, agreeing school values and Vision and key learning behaviours
- Eco Club - Improvements to school grounds, portecting the environment, providing guidance for inclusion in newsletter
- Worhsip Council - Creating school prayers, hosting regualr worhsip and special visitors during worship,developing our school vision and values.
Members of the school council should are given time in class and time during Worship to feedback and get feedback from their peers and find out opinions on matters that will be discussed at the meetings. Feedback from these sessions and minutes from meetings can then be used to inform decisions at a whole-school level.