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Welcome to the School Council page.

Welcome to the School Council page.

Coordinator - Mrs McKinnon

At Great Sankey Primary School we work closely as a team. Our School Council members meet regularly to discuss ways in which we can improve our school together. It allows the children to have a voice in school matters and be part of positive change as well as giving all children a forum for discussion.

We have elected two members from each class (Y2-6) who sit for one year on the Council. Within the Council, we have an elected Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

The Chairperson

  • manages the meetings using the agenda.
  • makes sure everyone who wants to speak gets the chance.
  • keeps a close eye on all matters.

The Secretary

  • collects the main points for discussion.
  • ensures all classes and representatives have a copy of the agenda.
  • takes notes at the meetings and writes out the minutes.

The ordinary members (class representatives) have an important job. They must put forward the views of the class they represent.

The Class Representative

  • listens carefully to others.
  • attends meetings.
  • makes suggestions.
  • brings ideas to share.
  • takes on responsibilities and gives own time.

Note - The Chairperson and Secretary are also class representatives.

The Treasurer

  • has to make sure the Council only spends money it has.
  • lets everyone know how much money the Council has.

Why have a School Council?

Children have Rights.

The United Nations convention on the Rights of the child states in article 12- "Children have the right to express the views they have and those views should be listened to in anything that affects them.”

  • gets us involved - education should be done with us not to us.
  • gives all pupils a chance to talk about things they are unhappy about (and happy!)
  • gets good ideas from pupils.
  • helps to make us pupils feel we are part of the school team.
  • helps keep us happy.

What has Great Sankey School Council done in the past?

Issues of Playground

"The older children have football, others nothing.”

  • playground games were bought
  • play leaders appointed alongside a PE apprentice to support the children at lunchtime.
  • lunchtime games now in operation.
  • quiet areas developed
  • music area developed

Trust around school.

"We want to do things without teachers always with us."

  • Children leave assembly independently and return to classrooms
  • Children enter the building following playtime and lunchtime independently
  • A large clock outside so that children can keep track of the time

These are some of the issues the School Council dealt with. There are also lots of little ones we have worked on successfully. They have organised and ran many charity events, for example, to support Children in Need. The School Council are also active voices when selecting termly Learning Champions. Members of the School Council represented the school at the Town Hall and acted as a pupil voice during the consultation period for the school joining an academy trust (TCAT). Members of the School Council got the opportunity to meet with an MP (David Mowatt) and asked him questions. All the School Council were lucky enough to view their winning World War I display at the large library in Manchester.

Making changes

A School Council must be realistic about what it can do. Some things we can change, some we can't. Also, we can't change all the things pupils want at once - we have to prioritise (i.e. most important things that affect most pupils). This involves a lot of negotiation.

Things we can't change

  • wearing uniform.
  • no homework?!

The Council often has to discuss, negotiate and make compromises - that's what it means to work as a team.

What kinds of things does a School Council discuss?

The discussion points are varied.

  • food in the the dining hall.
  • after school clubs.
  • bullying.
  • learning in class.
  • celebrating achievements

Bullying is an issue most schools have to deal with at one time or another. Bullying can't be allowed and can be a very upsetting experience. The Council can give someone who feels they are being bullied a chance to put forward (quietly if they want) their concerns.

Our School Council helps to:

  • update our Anti-bullying Policy.
  • give ideas for our Development Plan.
  • create a keeping safe reminder for all children

School Council Meetings

When? We have our meetings at lunchtime or lesson time, fitting around the school timetables of holidays, Christmas concerts etc.

Where? In a classroom

How long? usually 30 minutes, depending on the number of items on the agenda.

Who is there? All the representatives from classes and Head Teacher as an advisory.

We also (on occasions) have Extraordinary Meetings. These are short meetings to discuss one issue only e.g. choose colours for toilets/ choose playground games.

How does a meeting work?

The Chairperson

  • welcomes everyone.
  • introduces visitors.
  • checks all is well.
  • goes through items on agenda.

Items are discussed one by one by representatives.

The Secretary

  • takes notes of action to be taken and points discussed.

At the end of meetings, the Chairperson closes the meeting and (if possible) the date of the next meeting is decided.

What is an Agenda?

An agenda is the list of items that will be discussed at meetings. It includes time and date of meeting.

What are minutes?

Minutes are a record of what was discussed at the meetings. The minutes should tell you what was decided about the items pupils wanted discussed and any items which are to be actioned.

Electing a School Council

Nomination

To be considered as a School Council representative, one person in your class has to put your name forward (i.e. you have to be nominated). If there is more than one candidate in your class (and that is very likely), the other children in your class will get a chance to vote for the person they want.

Think carefully before you say, "Yes, I would like to be a councillor,” as this is a very important job with a lot of responsibility.

You must be reliable, a good listener, not selfish, have good ideas and many other things.

The Speech

All candidates put forward for election have  to give a speech (a manifesto) about why class should vote for him/her and what he/she will do if they are elected. (2-3 minutes should do it).

The Election

The class then votes and the pupil with the most votes wins. The winners should give a very short thank you speech to everyone who voted.
All School Council members must:

  • be respectful and listen to others
  • contribute or participate actively in meetings
  • follow the school rules and be role models to other pupils
  • model good behaviour at all times
  • be polite and courteous to others
  • wear their badge so all members of school know who they are
  • not refer to specific individuals or groups during discussions
  • use their position on School Council to support and develop their school and peers and not abuse this position in any way