Welcome to our GSP School Council page
Coordinator - Miss Humphreys
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 two elected members from each class (Y2-6) who sit for one year on the School Council.
There are also four children from UKS2 who represent the school with TCAT Parliament, which is like a TCAT School Council for all TCAT schools. They discuss fundraising initiatives, Eco linked work etc. These children feed this information to our School Council and Eco Club for further development back at school.
The Class Representatives:
- listen carefully to others.
- attends meetings.
- makes suggestions.
- brings ideas to share.
- takes on responsibilities and gives own time.
What is a School Council?
A school council is a formal group of pupils within a school who are elected by their peers to represent them and their views.
Why have a School Council?
Children have Rights.
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 which impact upon them.
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 each year and other fundraising initiatives as they arise. 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.
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?!
- no work days
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.
- 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
We have our meetings at lunchtime or lesson time, fitting around the school timetables of holidays, Christmas concerts etc.
In a classroom.
Our meetings usually last around 30 minutes, depending on the number of items on the agenda.
Who is there?
All the representatives from classes and School Council Teacher Leader 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.
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. They are all available to read by clicking on the link at the top of this page.
Electing a School Council
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, 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, selfless, have good ideas and be able to share these ideas and many other things.
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 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