Inspired to Make a Difference

Student Voice and Leadership – School Council

What is a school council?

A school council is a formal group of students within a school who are elected by their peers to represent them and their views.

Why have a school council?

The Department of Education states that:

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 students can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them.

Experience from schools here and further afield shows that a school council that is supported and nurtured helps to improve many aspects of school life.

It is an important and useful way for schools to provide leadership and development opportunities for their students. 

How do we do this at The Derby High School?

At The Derby High School, we have a structure in place which allows students to have a real say in issues that affect them and to know that their opinions count. Our Student Council provides an inclusive platform for our student body, where they are encouraged to work together as a whole school community to create positive change within the school environment.

During the school year, students have the opportunity to be empowered through their collective voice and inspired to make a difference through sharing their views and putting forwards their ideas.

Towards the end of the Autumn Term, donations collected from a non-uniform day in support of The School Council Fund, will help students to establish these positive changes, ideas and whole school projects across the Spring and Summer term.

Student Council Form Representatives

Each form class has two designated form representatives (selected by the students in each form by a vote in early September during R-Time). There are sixteen form representatives for each year group.

These sixteen form representatives will attend Year Council Meetings, at designated times in the academic year, with their Head of Year, to discuss key agenda and bring their ideas and suggestions to the group.

Student Council Year Representatives

Each year group has two designated year group representatives (selected by the sixteen form reps at the first Year Council Meeting). There are ten year group representatives across the five year groups.

These ten year representatives will attend Whole School Council Meetings, at designated times in the academic year, with the Personal Development Staff, to raise the agenda, ideas and suggestions discussed by their year groups.

Once the most appropriate whole school projects have been decided, student-led working parties will be created, supported by appropriate staff around school, to action tasks. 

What can our students gain from being part of the School Council?

Our students can gain so much through the School Council, whether they are representatives attending team meetings, or contributing within the whole school body and working on a project together.

Here are some examples of the many skills they can encounter through working together:

  • The development of key character skills and social skills in preparation to better navigate adult life and the world of work.
  • Understanding the importance of character, values, skills and citizenship
  • Learning resilience
  • Learning how to work as a team
  • Learning negotiation and collaboration
  • Understanding that their views are important
  • Understanding that everyone else’s are just as important
  • Understanding that change takes effort
  • Developing good debating, discussion and communication skills

Being part of a working party to facilitate positive change