An effective School Council is likely to:
- be enshrined in the school ethos and have the full support of the whole school community;
- be supported by a structure used throughout the school in all classes, which provides all children with the opportunity for participation, contribution and consultation, such as Class Councils or Circle Time;
- involve councillors in team building and training exercises to help them work effectively together and to identify meaningful issues and areas for discussion;
- take an active part in school policy making and in influencing the School Development Plan;
- be ‘commissioned’ by the SMT to research, develop and implement specific projects, e.g. Fruit Tuck Shops, School Travel Plans, developing the school prospectus, redesigning the playgrounds
- use a set of indicators, e.g. sustainability indicators, to evaluate the school’s performance according to a number of criteria and devise action plans and set targets to improve the school’s rating;
- learn and appreciate how the council structure and procedures are replicated at local, national and international levels and understand they are part of a wider democratic process
- involve outside partners, e.g. the local council, LA21, local businesses, community groups and pressure groups
- appreciate that many decisions not only have implications for individuals in the school community, but also the wider local, national and global community
Thinking of developing your school council?
There are a range of resources including an online constitution planner, information on roles, starter and drama activities to encourage pupil engagement.