Our aim is to facilitate Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which advocates the right of all children to say what they think should happen and to have their opinions taken into account when adults are making decisions that affect them.
At Ernesford Grange Primary, we make a concerted effort to give children a voice, listening to them, respecting and responding to their views and in so doing, enabling them to understand that their opinions count. The education system exists for children; ensuring their participation in that system and listening to their experiences helps them make the most of their education.
• School Councillor Elections are held annually.
• Each nominee will canvass for class votes through designing their own posters and leaflets and delivering a speech to their constituency.
• From the nominated children, one child from each KS1 and KS2 class are voted onto the council.
• Once the 14 members of the School Council are in place, weekly meetings commence.
• Officers are appointed for the roles of Chair and Secretary and children are able to add items to the agenda so that a range of discussions can take place.
Pupil engagement and participation guidelines are used so that all councillors are active participants:
• Draw up weekly agendas and take minutes.
• All meetings encourage and promote mutual respect for all.
• The language that is used is clear and appropriate to the age of the pupils.
• Pupils should have an understanding of the type of decisions their views can change (i.e. it is not a wish list).
• Encourage responsive and relevant engagement.
• Pupils need to be trained, supported and encouraged to help them make positive contributions to issues that relate not just to them both in the schools and the wider community.
• Pupils’ opinions are encouraged, listened to, respected and valued when taking decisions that impact upon them.
• Organise School Councillor led trips and projects.
Communication channels: In order for Ernesford Grange’s School Councillors to undertake their work, they will need to communicate with the following:
• Pupils, parents and teachers need to talk to each other to make participation work.
• The use of a suggestion/comment box.
• A dedicated school webpage and school APP.
• Questionnaires/surveys to pupils or specific year group pupils that may need to be completed.
• A notice board.
• Gain pupils’ points of view and then feedback pupils’ views on specific school development issues.
• Improved emotional Health and Wellbeing.
• Development of life skills such as problem solving, negotiation and decision-making.
• Increased respect for those that are different to them.
• Enhanced confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
• Familiarity with group, leadership and democratic processes;
• Better personal, social and organisational skills.
• Increased responsibility, involvement and commitment to the school and the community.
What are the benefits for the school?
• More contented children.
• Improved communication and relationships between staff and children.
• Improvements in pupil behaviour and school ethos.
• Improvements to the school environment.
What are the benefits for the community?
• Less anti-social behaviour.
• Empowered young people.
• Improved relationships with parents and the wider community.
• Valuing of education by parents and the community.