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St Josephs Primary School, Slate Street, Belfast
Halloween mid term break - school closed 30th Oct for the week.   |   School Halloween disco on Fri 27th Oct. Children should come to school in Halloween costume and will go home at 12noon.   |   Parent/teacher meetings commence week beginning 23rd Oct. Children will finish school at 1.45pm that week to accommodate meetings.   |  

School/Pupil Council - Listening to the pupil voice

11th Oct 2017

Every September pupils in our school elect two class councilors from each class. Based on election speeches, they vote for the candidate who they think will represent them best.

Pupil Councils are democracy in action. The Pupil Council in St. Joseph’s PS consists of two representatives of each class, from Year 4 to Year 7. Our council meets frequently, at least once every 6 weeks, to express views and make decisions.

 

What is a School/pupil council?

A Student Council is a representative structure through which pupils in our school can become involved in the day to day running and organisation of the school, working in partnership with management, staff and parents for the benefit of the school and our pupils.

 

Why have a School/pupil council?

The Education Act, 1998 recognises that Pupils Councils are an increasingly common feature in schools and have worked to the benefit of many schools.

Students have a valuable contribution to make to the effectiveness of their school and their involvement in the operation of the school is itself a valuable part of the education process for the students.

A Pupil Council provides an opportunity for students to engage in a structured partnership with teachers, parents and school managers in the operation of their school.

Research indicates that Pupil Councils can improve academic standards and reduce dropout rates in post primary education. Student Councils can create a sense of ownership of the school and its activities among the student population.

The establishment of a Pupil Council gives our pupils an opportunity to acquire the sort of communication, planning and organisational skills which will be of benefit to them in their future lives. It enables pupils to take responsibility for projects, and to demonstrate that they can manage and bring such projects to successful conclusion. Moreover, the contribution made by a Pupil Council to the development of school policy in a number of areas can have significant benefits for students and the school. School policies are far more likely to be successful where they are clearly understood and accepted by all partners within the school community.

The role of the Pupil Council

The main role of a Pupil Council as set out in the Education Act is "to promote the interests of the school and the involvement of students in the affairs of the school, in co-operation with the board, parents and teachers".

A Pupil Council will set its own objectives, which will vary from school to school. Some objectives from past councils have included:

­To enhance communication between students, management, staff and parents

­To promote an environment conducive to educational and personal development

­To promote friendship and respect among pupils

­To support the management and staff in the development of the school

­To represent the views of the students on matters of general concern to them

Our School Council elections have just been completed. We were delighted to have local councillor Fra McCann join us for our election results. Our school council will meet for the first time this week and decide their priorities for the year ahead. So watch this space!