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activate ur school council

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					  activate ur
school council
Hi – we are Rowan,
Annaliza, Levi and
Elsie.
We were elected to
represent our peers in the
UK Youth Parliament
Elections in 2008.
Our project was to try to improve School Councils in Devon
schools.
We worked with decision-makers in Devon County Council
who gave us a budget to fund our research.
We wrote and designed a questionnaire for students in these
schools to fill in:
 • Okehampton Community College
 • Kingsbridge Community College
 • West Exe Technology College
 • Colyton Grammar School
Then we worked with an action researcher to gather the
results. We gave feedback to the individual schools and also
decided to make a leaflet for others who were interested in
our findings.
This leaflet represents the views of young people within
those schools.
    what we found out

Q   Do students know if they have a school council?

A   Students know they have a school council but often don’t
    get feedback from it


“
Q
    “There is never feedback”

    Can students get their ideas to the school
    council?

A   Some students can’t get their ideas to the
    school council


“
Q
    “Nobody knows who the member of council is”

    Do students feel listened to by the school council?

    Students don’t feel listened to


“
A

    “No, they think it’s a waste of time”

Q   Does the headteacher listen to the school council?

    Most students think he or she does


“
A

    “He comes and listens to what they say”

Q   Do students feel involved in the decision-
    making process of the school council?

    Many students did not feel involved


“
A

    “They don’t ask your opinion”

Q   Should the school council should be led by the students?

    Students thought it should


“
A

    “Definitely. We are the ones who will benefit the most”
    Any other comments?


“
Q

    “It only meets six times a year, and meetings
    are not very well advertised. Last year when I
    was in the council I only found out about
    three of the meetings”

    “They always take your ideas into consideration,
    and take action”

    “I think it its an effective idea, but could involve other
    students better, e.g. tell them decisions made”

    “The students not involved in the school council should get
    more say in school improvements”

    “They need to do more fun things”

    “I don’t think the council is very good – our ideas never get
    put forward”

    “Don’t just talk about it – make it happen”

    “School council is only beneficial to those who
    are on it. They do it to better themselves just
    to look good on their CV rather than to help
    others”

    “The school refuses to listen to the school
    council”

    “It’s a good thing to have a school council”
activate it!
DO...
  Make sure everyone knows about the school
  council and how they can get involved
  Have a free and open nominations system for
  candidates and hold elections to decide members
  Get a wide range of students involved from different
  backgrounds
  Set aside time to collect issues or problems from students
  Give clear and regular feedback to students
  Have a permanent noticeboard to display school council work
  Make sure that the headteacher is told about everything that
  the school council does
  Work as a team and have some fun!

DON’T...
  Ignore students’ comments
  Get overloaded with work and issues
  Be afraid to ask for help
  Say you’ll do something and then don’t
  Be unrealistic – you can’t change the world!
  Spend too much time talking – try not to waste time
  Make any decisions without consulting all students in the
  school


        For a full version of this leaflet please go to:
        www.geturvoiceheard.co.uk
        For further information please contact Verity Heffer or
        a member of the Youth Participation, Democracy and
        Development Team on 01392 382044

        Young people worked with a professional researcher (Senior
        Research Fellow) from Brighton University and a senior
        officer in DCC

				
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