What is a student council?
A student council is a group of like-minded students, who are interested in how their school operates and committed to ensuring that every student has a say in their education.
The student council works closely with the school community including the teaching staff, the principal, boards of management and parents’ groups for the benefit of all students and to ensure that every student can have a say in decisions affecting their education.
Why should we have a student council?
The best decisions are made in schools if everyone who will be affected by those decisions is involved in making them in some way. The purpose of schools is to educate students, so students are the most important group who will be affected by any decisions which are made there. Students often have ideas that others (such as teachers, parents, administration etc.) wouldn’t think of so if they are more involved in making decisions, better decisions for students will be made.
What can a student council do?
Student Councils usually work in four main ways:
Ask: student councils can approach others in the school or, propose changes or improvements, and request that others take action.
Act: student councils take action themselves on student concerns (but usually check and obtain permission to do so) or support other groups of students to take action.
Share: student councils work together in partnership with others (teachers, parents etc.) to make joint decisions and take combined actions.
Highlight: student councils also raise awareness about student needs and concerns as a step towards either taking action or asking others to act.
How are student council members elected in Oaklands?
Every tutor group has the opportunity to nominate one male and one female candidate to run for a position on the student council. These students will represent their year group if they are successful in the election process. All students can vote for their preferred male and female candidate in their year group. The votes are tallied and the successful candidates are deemed elected to the student council. Democratically elected student council members hold their position for a year. The breakdown of the seats on the student council is as follows:
1st year – 3 seats
2nd year – 3 seats
3rd year – 3 seats
Transition year – 3 seats
5 LCA – each class has a seat
5th year – 3 seats
6th year – 3 seats
6 LCA – each class has a seat
Oak Centre – 1 or 2 seats (depending on particular interest that year)
How does the student council work in Oaklands?
The student council is a very vibrant organisation. Democratically nominated and elected by the student population, the student council involves itself in many areas of school life and brings matters of concern from the student body to the attention of management (Principal and Vice – Principals). The student council meet weekly during lunchtime and feed back to the individual year groups at assembly. The student council has a chairperson to lead the meetings, a secretary to take minutes, and a treasurer to look after any financial matters. Class representatives bring issues which their class / year group have to student council meetings, and inform their class / year group of any decisions made.
The student council represents the views of students to any school authorities.
Ms. Finlay, the liaison teacher supports and advises the student council but doesn’t have a vote in matters arising from meetings. The student council also play an important role in boosting school spirit and morale by organising fundraisers and fun activities like raffles and Christmas fancy dress day.
How can it help me?
Each representative is the eyes, ears and voice of every student whom they represent, so if you have an issue in school, talk to your class or year representative and they can bring that issue to their meetings to discuss a satisfactory resolution for all. For more information on this and other issues relating to student councils contact the liaison teacher, Ms. Finlay.