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School Council

Our School Council has two branches.  One is for children in Years 1 to 3 and the other is for children in Years 4 to 6.  Pupils are elected by their peers to represent their class each year.  Both councils also have members of staff and governors as part of the team.  Mrs Smith supports both councils ensuring information is shared with the Senior Leadership Team.

What is School Council?

School Council is a forum in which issues can be raised and decisions can be made about things that affect our school community. We have representatives from all areas of the school, who attend regular meeting and feed back to their class mates and colleagues. 

What do we do?

We start our meetings with a set agenda created after the previous meeting, to allow us to share comments from our classes and colleagues about key issues affecting the school. We also have an “Any Other Business” time, where issues can be raised for the first time and discussed. This also allows smaller, day-to-day issues to be raised. We make decisions whenever possible, even if the decision is to go back and discuss the issue with our classes. Often our decisions require a vote, which we take and accept. 

During our meetings we take “Minutes”, which are then shared with all of the teaching staff and the class representatives. Representatives are then given time in their class timetable to feed back the minutes and talk to the class.

Issues we discuss include:

·         Health and safety issues everyone needs to be aware of;

·         How we can improve the school environment and community.


Reflections on how our School Council functions from a Teacher Rep

For the last few years I have been the staff representative on our KS2 School Council.  It has been expertly run by our Deputy Head, Sue, and I always refer people to her on Twitter when they are interested in starting one in their school or changing how theirs works.  Having watched and learned how to ensure the School Council is effective in its purpose, I've included in this post how Sue has run ours for many years.  


Who is involved?

After short speeches, every class elects two representatives by a secret vote at the beginning of the year.  These same two children come to every meeting throughout the academic year.  Also present are representatives from the SLT, teachers, teaching assistants, governors and parent/teacher association.  Pupils reps are identified by a School Council badge and their photos are displayed in our main corridor.  There are two School Councils; one for each Key Stage.  We are a large 3-form entry primary school so this makes it easier to manage.  In smaller schools, a School Council could included representatives from every class instead. 


How often and how long are meetings? 

The school council meets approximately once a month.  For most adult representatives, this isn't a problem.  For me, it means I need to be covered for the hour-long meetings.  This cover comes from our headteacher, assistant head or SENCo.  We meet in the hall and tables are set out in a square with representatives sat in year groups along each side of the square.  


What happens in meetings? 

Each meeting has an agenda, created by Sue, and is chaired by a different pair of Year 6 representatives each term.  For each item, the Year 6 pupils announce what will be discussed, share some information and then go around the tables to hear pupils' suggestions, ideas or opinions.  We often have votes to make important decisions.  At the end of each meeting, there is always time for "Any Other Business".  Favourite topics for this section are toilets, break-time snacks and, currently, Pokemon cards however we have had some very useful and important suggestions made when the floor is opened up.  After all, this is the point of a School Council; to give children the chance to be heard and learn more about what happens in school.  


School Councillors vote each year on our school charities, suggest and organise fundraisers and communicate such information with their classes.  They were the first to view our newly built wing of the school and often find out exciting or important school news before their peers.  The teacher rep (me!), takes the minutes of the meeting so that there is a record of what was said and decided. 


What happens after meetings? 

The minutes from the meeting are shared with all members of staff at the school.  Also, the Year 6 leading reps take a copy of the minutes to every class for the reps to put in their School Council folder.  Each pair of class reps is given time in the classroom to share with their peers what was discussed in the School Council meeting.  Sometimes, they must collect ideas from the class to share at the next meeting or have a vote to share the results.  This is also the opportunity for their classmates to raise any other business which they want raised with the School Council.  Some children have specific jobs to do after the meeting; for example, speaking to the premises officer or receptionist about a problem.