Student government offers students excellent ways to get involved in the inner workings of their schools, both in high school and in college.
Students who participate in their student governments are privy to a range of personal and professional benefits, and they can be exposed to
a variety of opportunities in school and beyond. Hearing from students who have gone through it before and gaining a little background
information on student government structures, roles, benefits and challenges can help high school and college students decide whether
student government is the perfect addition to their personal and academic pursuits.
Aims of the Student Council:
The Student Council exists to represent the voice of the students, promote their ideas and advocate their views and interests. It is a fundamentally democratic and non-political institution, with all students given equal opportunity to participate. Its role includes helping the school to serve its students as effectively as possible and making students aware of wider issues, in addition to playing an important role in establishing links with the community. All members are democratically elected by their forms based on the issues students believe in.The Student Council within the School Community
At the beginning of each calendar year, the Student Council elect a charity to support and set a fundraising target. Over the course of the year, several fundraising events are organised, including discos, cake sales and a summer fete.
This year, the Student Council has voted to support Cancer Research - raising money for a national charity like this will be a shift from the previous year's local community project. The public almost entirely funds Cancer Research UK's work thus it is a great initiative to support such a great organisation, tackling the issue of cancer, a subject close to many people's hearts.
Prospective Staff Interviews
Often when teaching positions at our school become vacant, the Student Council will be asked to establish an interview panel to represent the students in the selection of a new teacher. The panel is chosen by the Student Council’s Chairman and usually consists of representatives from each section of the school (KS3, KS4, KS5). Over the past few years, Student Council have been involved in the appointment of many new staff members, many of whom now teach lessons to us on a regular basis.
On the first Wednesday of every month, the Student Council hold an Open Meeting, which all students are welcome to attend and raise their suggestions.
On each of the remaining Mondays, the Student Council’s panels meet to discuss ideas relevant to their area of focus.
There are four panels that makeup the Student Council.
The Learning-Environment Panel, combat issues surrounding bullying in the school and improve student welfare in terms of the environment; including classrooms and the physical school environment also run a weekly club for younger students known as “The Bolt Hole”.
The Learning Environment Panel, we work to maintain and improve the already high-standards of the students' surroundings. We work on matters in student life such as the prevention and eventual eradication of bullying. As a team, we run the 'Bolt-Hole' - a lunchtime club where younger students can meet new people, play games and relax. We also work towards bettering physical aspects of the school such as classroom equipment, litter and improving the greenery & general aesthetic nature of the school. Currently, a project is being spearheaded to refurbish the outdoor PE changing room.
The Learning- Environment Panel has played a major part in improving the site and facilities for students including hard play areas, more benches and, through the support of Mrs Howells, the planting of flowers, trees and shrubs across the site which is in addition to the 600 trees they planted for the Woodland Trust.
The Communications panel, produce a half-termly newsletter known as “The Griffin” which updates students on the Student Council’s discussions, fundraising and surveys. Our main objectives are to be informative and let all students know what is going
on in the world of Student Council, as well as encouraging our students to discuss and debate about the topics they love, ranging from religion to sports.
We have our meetings every Monday. One recent article discussed the event hosted by the School Council on the national initiative – ‘The Great Education Debate’.
The Charity Panel, responsible for all fundraising events throughout the year, including student run discos and cake-sales. The main aim of the Student Council Charity Panel is to raise money for the charities that we have chosen to support in the respective academic year. The panel gives students a unique opportunity to get involved with such events and contribute time and effort into supporting charities in lots of different ways; by baking cakes, giving their time to help run the cake sales or discos, or by helping with the design and implementation of advertisements for events.
The Charity Panel is responsible for organising fundraising events for the two charities voted by the Student Council each year. These include discos supported by Dr Costello and Mr Cowley and the very successful Summer Fete. For many years the Student Council has raised well over £2000 per year which goes directly to charities and has made significant contributions to extending the disco equipment and providing exciting new accessories for events such as a popcorn machine.
The Outreach Panel is a new panel that works on advertising the student council, part management of the Instagram content and informing council and the school on goings on and conducting discussions, fundraising and surveys.
The Student Council also has an Executive Board, consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and panel heads who administer the Council’s operations. Held every Wednesday, the Executive Board discusses the progress of each panel and provides advice to the panel heads.
The Student Council, at Lawrence Sheriff School, gives students an opportunity to share ideas, interests and concerns with fellow students, teachers, the senior leadership team and governors. The Student Council plays a major role in fundraising for local and national charities; providing services for school-wide activities, including social events, community projects and the student research programme. They actively work with the Senior Leadership Team and governor, Mr Howe, in school reform and safeguarding respectively. In recent years the Student Council has continued to play a major part in interviewing teaching and non-teaching staff and have built upon links with the LSS Parent’s Association to support each other’s activities and events.
As the Senior Leadership lead for the Student Council, I can say that I am very proud of the Council and all of the students that have contributed to the whole school on a multitude of levels and would like to encourage all students to consider getting involved in the many Student Council events.