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Pupils’ views on School Councils are presented to the Education Committee.

At the Education Committee’s meeting today in Parliament Buildings (9 May 2012), MLAs heard the views of young people on School Councils, gathered at a series of workshops with pupils. This workshop exercise was carried out as part of the Committee’s research for its Inquiry into School Councils. The Committee also asked school principals to fill out questionnaire about School Councils. The Inquiry is examining the achievements of School Councils, how School Councils work and how they contribute to school life.

The research paper presents the views expressed by young people in the workshops:

     1. The young people felt that the purpose of School Councils is to improve school life and give pupils a chance to have their views heard.
     “I think the job of the school council is to make the school in which you are a councillor a better place.”















     2. They thought involvement in a School Council is good for pupils. It gives them opportunities to:
        -  develop greater confidence;
        -  improve communication skills;
        -  take on increased responsibility;
        -  feel a sense of pride and achievement;
        -  improve the school environment for all pupils; and
        -  have more contact with teachers.

     3. Most young people felt that their Schools Council had been successful in changing things for the better in their schools.

     4. A lot of school councils organise events in schools and play an important role in fundraising activities.

     5. School Councils are the best way to get the views of pupils.

     6. The majority of young people in schools without School Councils would like one.

What happens next in the inquiry process? The committee will produce a report with recommendations on how to encourage the participation of young people in decision making through School Councils. The report will be debated in the Assembly Chamber and the Education Minister for Education will be there to respond to the Committee’s suggestions. Will he agree with the report? We will keep you posted.

To read the full report, go to http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Committees/Education/Rese...