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Update on Inquiry into School Councils

Principals Asked to Respond to Questionnaire

As part of its inquiry into school councils, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education is asking all school Principals to complete an online questionnaire.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA says: “The questionnaire, which should only take 5-10 minutes to complete, will provide us with useful and important information about school councils – how they operate and their contribution to school life. 

“School councils are very important because they raise awareness about democratic decision making by providing the first opportunity for young people to participate in democracy and influence the life of their school.

I would urge Principals to complete and submit the on-line questionnaire by Friday 20 January 2012 and assist the Committee in its work.”

Belfast Boys Model Principal, Mr Jim Keith, supporting the Committee’s Inquiry, said: “School Councils encourage greater pupil participation in the life of the school and provide opportunities to boost pupil confidence and sense of empowerment.  I would encourage schools to respond to the Committee’s questionnaire and take five minutes to help the Committee highlight the importance of the work being done by school councils.”

The Committee also wants to hear from schools that do not have school councils, to ask they why they don’t and to see if they use other ways of involving pupils in decision making.  

As part of the next stage of the Inquiry the Committee will identify a small number of ‘case study’ schools and ask pupils to take part in discussion groups.