School Councils


Friday, September 7th, 2007. 2:55pm

I wrote to relevant Cambridgeshire County Council officers also copied my local county councillor on the subject of School Councils.

I can see that a number (around 15%) of the authority’s schools are members of Schools Council UK from: http://www.schoolcouncils.org/map_view However others run school councils without membership, are they doing so without training and support?

Specifically I would like to ask if the local authority offers any specific training to staff members, such as school council link teachers, for example that provided by Schools Council UK: http://www.schoolcouncils.org/training

There I can read:

“For the past five years, Essex County Council and School Councils UK have organised conferences for pupils from all primary and secondary schools in Essex. … gaining key skills and ideas with which to take back and improve their school councils.”

Does Cambridgeshire do anything like that? I see Cambridgeshire is not on the list of authorities that will be providing school council training this year.

[Non-specific, non-personal information on the specific undemocratic incident on which I have been made aware not included at the request of my informant]

I am concerned that if school councils are run in an undemocratic manner then there is the potential that rather than sowing the seeds for children to become engaged citizens active in the democratic process it might put them off and the next generation might become disenchanted with democracy at a very young age.

I would be in favour of better support for schools and staff running school councils.

Many thanks,

Richard Taylor Cambridge, UK.

Particularly with the increased debate on the subject of the voting age being reduced to sixteen I think the integrity of democratic representation within schools is becoming more important. Perhaps as with Students’ Unions at Universities there should be regulation to ensure democracy (though I am aware there is little enforcement of the Education Act with respect to Universities).

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