The Department of Education (DE) is keen to support all schools to have structures in place which allow pupils to have a real say in issues that affect them and to know that their opinions count. There are a number of ways in which schools can choose to help achieve effective pupil participation.
A school council is a formal group of pupils within a school who are elected by their peers to represent them and their views.
A school council can provide a meaningful way in which pupils can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them.
Experience within our school shows that a school council that is supported and nurtured helps to improve many aspects of school life.
It is an important and useful way for schools to provide leadership and development opportunities for their pupils.
Within the school curriculum, one of the key areas making up the ‘Learning for Life and Work’ theme is active participation. The curriculum requires that young people are provided with opportunities to participate in school and society. School councils are an excellent way in which to increase participation, teaching young people about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.