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School council - what does it actually do?

(21 Posts)
choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:23:07

Following on from the dodgy elections for this much coveted post, can anyone advise what does the school council do?
I feel that it is more about ticking boxes, than actually involving the children in the running of the school. For example, when my DS has occasionally had what I think is a good idea, he flatly refuses to mention it to any of the school council. I suspect this is because he thinks nothing will ever happen.

choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:25:15

Also he fears that the council member will claim it was their own idea. Which indicates to me that DS (y4) sees being on the council as a treat, rather than a responsibilty.

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:27:55

My experience exactly.

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:29:54

Your first post, not so much the second.

choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:34:01

Pyrocanthus, do you mean your experience is that nothing happens, or that your DC think nothing will happen?

listenglisten Wed 07-Oct-09 22:35:44

My ds has just been elected to school council and I don't really know much about what they do blush

They do meet every week but not sure how much say they have in school decisions.

cat64 Wed 07-Oct-09 22:36:29

Message withdrawn

RustyBear Wed 07-Oct-09 22:39:25

I work at a junior school & our school council have a budget to spend on things like playground improvements or wet playtime games. We have class councils & their discussions are minuted & brought to the school council, so they know who suggested them.
They interviewed all three candidates for headteacher and were very pleased when the candidate they wanted got the job.

And also when we were inspected in the summer, the inspectors wanted to speak to a selection of children who represented the school in various ways - it included members of the school council, Playground friends, peer mediators and the eco-group - they must have impressed the inspectors as we got 'outstanding' for personal development & well-being.

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:40:55

Er, both I think. The last time we talked about it was when DD1 was grumbling about the rota arrangements for playing football in the playground. I said it sounded like a good topic for the school council to talk about, and she said that their class reps probably wouldn't raise it, and if they did then nothing would come of it.

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:41:58

Well deserved, by the sound of it, RustyBear.

choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:45:20

School council interviewed the headteacher candidates, now that it what I consider genuine involvement...though how much notice would have been taken if their opinions were wildly different to the governors wishes?

FourShour Wed 07-Oct-09 22:47:54

oh I didnt think it was such a big deal blush

any tips for DS going to his first meeting on Friday?

Is he meant to have suggestions?

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:48:01

Yes, they did at ours too, come to think of it. My DD2's friend was one rep involved, and they certainly didn't take her opinion into account!

<Sideways glance at choccyp1g>

Our children are at the same school, aren't they?

cat64 Wed 07-Oct-09 22:49:24

Message withdrawn

choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:53:42

Pyrocanthus, what makes you think our children are at the same school? I'll give you a clue, DS is actually VERY goodlooking, but a bit on the short side.

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 22:55:39

Hm, year 4 - yes! I know him.

RustyBear Wed 07-Oct-09 22:55:56

Well, of course the main reason was so that the interviewers (who observed, but didn't take part) could see how the candidates responded to the children, but also to let the children feel involved - all the children in the school were allowed to submit questions & the class & school councils voted on which ones they wanted to ask - they were very good questions - like how would they deal with bullying and why did they think children should (or shouldn't) do homework. It worked so well we did it again when we were interviewing for a new bursar.

choccyp1g Wed 07-Oct-09 22:59:04

OOh Pyro give me a clue about yours. [pretty please]
Rusty, I can see how it worked now, with the interviewers sitting in, they couldn't help but take account of the discussion, though of course they may not have drawn the same conculsions as the children.

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 09:02:03

Unbearably cute year 5, choccy.

LilyBolero Thu 08-Oct-09 09:32:13

Our school council does a lot;

They have meetings, where class councillors bring the class likes/dislikes to discuss (these are decided in a prior class meeting, and written down in a book).
They welcome overseas visitors, often having lunch with them.
They do special assemblies.
They are involved in low level decisions of school policy.
They will 'represent' the school at functions.
Sometimes they will go on special trips to represent the school.

choccyp1g Thu 08-Oct-09 09:40:28

Pyro, still can't work out who you are, but we are probably following red herrings. Let's face it, there are a lot of utterly gorgeous children in most schools...and a lot of schools where the school council is a bit pointless.
From the responses, it certainly seems that some are a lot better than ours, though our head is very pro-active in actually talking and listening to the individual children, so I am happy enough really.

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