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School Council 

A school council is a formal group of pupils who act as representatives of their classmates in discussing school issues with a member of senior leadership and staff. It’s a brilliant way of representing and contributing to pupil voice in school. Students are elected to represent the views of all pupils and also to improve their school. School councillors help to make decisions about how the school is run and take on project that support the children’s learning and development, such as organising charity events, representing the school at outside events or ensuring the school is environmentally friendly. School councils are elected annually by the other children in their class. A school council does a number of things:

  • A 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 discos, developing an area around school, or meeting with catering staff.

  • Each year, every class will normally elect two representatives to be members of the school council. The council will then meet to elect officers such as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

There are lots of reasons to have a school council.  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 their 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.

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.

A good school council is one that represents the views of all students and gets things done. These are some things that make a school council effective:

  • Regular meetings.

  • A council that is not too big

  • Good communication between representatives and their class.

  • Training for school council members.

  • Smaller groups (subcommittees) working on specific events or issues.

  • A bank account or budget (however small).

  • Annual evaluations.

During the school council meetings, council members would typically discuss things like improvements to school grounds or areas within school, arranging tours of the school for guests and visitors,  input in staff appointments and collecting pupil and parent vpice. 

Members of the school council should be given time in class to 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.

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