Student Council

Rationale

Students have a valuable contribution to make to the successful running of a school in accordance with the school’s Mission Statement.  As well as facilitating this, the Student Council also provides a vital link between the different school partners; Students, Teachers, School Management Team, Parents and the Board of Management.  The Student Council helps prepare students for citizenship and fosters mature behaviour as well as providing opportunities for personal development. It also enables students 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 Student Council to the development of school policy in a number of areas can have significant benefits for students and the school.

 

Scope

The Student Council is a representative body of students who provide a voice for the general student population within the school. The Education Act recognises that students will take the lead role in the establishment and operation of a Student Council while it also provides an important role for the Board of Management in supporting the establishment and ongoing development of the Student Council.

The Student Council consists of a suitable number of students from each year in the school and two non-voting staff members (Liaison Teachers).  The role of the Liaison Teachers is to oversee Student Council meetings and to ensure that rules are adhered to.

 

Aims

  1. To provide a forum for students to discuss their concerns and affairs and relay such concerns to School Management.

 

  1. To support Management in the development and running of the School, e.g. contribute in a meaningful way to reviewing and implementing school policy.

 

  1. To improve the lines of communication between all school partners (Students, Teachers, Non-Teaching staff, School Management, Board of Management, Parents and the Local Community).

 

  1. To promote an environment suitable for the personal development of all students in line with the school’s Mission Statement.

 

 

  1. To foster and nurture important skills among students, e.g. participation, communication, leadership, problem- solving, public speaking, organisation of events, facilitation/chairing of meetings etc.

 

Implementation Arrangements

Liaison teachers coordinate the implementation and running of the Student Council.

 

Method of Election

Elections will take place each September.  The process will occur as follows:

  1. At the start of the academic year, Leaving Cert Student Council members will speak to year groups about the importance of having a properly functioning Student Council within a school. They will highlight the role of the Student Council and the important role of elected members.  Class Tutors and Year Heads will also promote and talk about the important role of the Student Council within the school i.e. that the Student Council is the voice for the larger student body.

 

 

  1. Students interested in becoming Student Council members nominate themselves by passing their names to the Liaison Teacher. Nominees attend a meeting with the Liaison Teacher.  The aim of this meeting is to highlight the qualities required by members and therefore identify those students who have a genuine desire to be part of the Student Council.

 

 

  1. On Election Day assemblies are organised for each year group. At the assembly, returning Leaving Cert Student Council members talk to each year group about the election process and the importance of voting for the student they believe will best represent them in their class group and contribute in a meaningful way to the successful running of the Student Council.  Each student will vote – by non-transferrable secret ballot for two students from their respective class group.

 

 

  1. Votes for Junior Students will be counted by Senior Student Council members. Votes for Senior Students will be counted by Liaison teachers. Successful candidates will be the ones who receive the most votes.  In the event of a tie an election will take place between the tied nominees.  Lists of votes attained by all nominees will be kept by Liaison Teachers.

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Students Elected

Year Group                  No. Students                Term

First Year                     4-6 students                1 year

Second year                6 students                    1 year

Third Year                   6 students                    1 year

Transition Year           4-6 Students                1 year

Fifth Years                   6 Students                   2 years

Sixth Years                  6 students                    2 years

Filling a Vacancy

Should a Vacancy arise it will be filled by a person from that year group based on the number of votes achieved on Election day.

 

Removing a Member / Dissolution of the Student Council

A Council member can be removed and the Council can be dissolved at the discretion of the Board of Management.

 

Training

Training/Team Building will be provided for all Student Council members each year.

 

Meetings

First Meeting:

Returning Senior Cycle Student Council members will meet early in September to organise Student Council Elections.  A Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and PRO will be elected at this time from this cohert of Students.

 

General Meetings:

Held once a month (more frequently when required).  Conducted as follows:

  1. Agenda for first general meeting is decided prior to the meeting by the Committee and Liaison Teachers. All future agendas are decided during current meeting and agenda can be added to as the need arises via Microsoft Teams.
  2. Roll call is taken at the start of each meeting.
  3. Minutes of last meeting are read, matters arising, AOB. Minutes proposed and seconded.
  4. Chairperson chairs the meeting and sees that it does not get out of hand and that rules are upheld.
  5. Secretary keeps an account of each meeting (minutes).
  6. Treasurer gives a report on accounts when required.
  7. PRO report.
  8. O.B
  9. Secretary informs members of the date, time and venue for the next meeting.
  10. Secretary posts adopted minutes on Student Council Microsoft Team.

 

Weekly Meetings:

Generally held to organise and plan events.  These meetings will involve small groups of students involved in planning the particular event.

 

Meeting with School Management:

Following each meeting the Chairperson and Secretary will meet with the School Principal or Deputy Principal to discuss concerns raised on behalf of general student body.  These meetings will also be used to update Management on upcoming Student Council events.  A brief report will be given at the next Council Meeting, re updates arising from said meeting.

      

Meeting with the Board of Management:

Student Council Committee members will meet with the Board of Management once a year.  This will take place during the first term where possible.  This meeting provides the Student Council with an opportunity to update the BOM on the previous years’ work and on work planned for the coming year.  It also provides the BOM with an opportunity to engage with the committee members and get a feel for the important work undertaken by the student council.

 

 

 

Student Council Constitution:

 

RULES:

  1. There must be a quorum of half the Student Council members plus 1 for the meeting to be deemed valid.

 

  1. Any member who cannot attend a meeting should pass on their apologies to the Council through the Secretary.

 

  1. Any Council member not attending meetings without a valid reason may be removed from the Council. This must be sanctioned by the Board of Management.

 

 

  1. The Principal may veto the nomination of a student to the Council in exceptional circumstances e.g. poor disciplinary record, student suspended etc.

 

  1. A Student may be removed from the Council in exceptional circumstances e.g. serious breach of the rules, poor disciplinary record, student suspended etc. This must be sanctioned by the Board of Management.

 

  1. The Student Council should not interfere or detract from the Authority of School Management, Teaching Staff or Non-teaching staff. There can be no comment on the employment or professional work of any staff member.

 

  1. Student Council members should refrain from personalising issues or passing comments on the judgements and/or decisions of School Management and Staff.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF REPRESENTATIVES:

As a Council member:

-You will be expected to represent the students in your Year Group.  In this respect,t it is important that you know your fellow students.

-You will be expected to inform fellow students as to when a meeting is coming up, bring fellow students concerns to the Council and inform your class/year group if important issues are raised at meeting.

-You will be expected to carry out tasks on behalf of the Council or School Management, e.g. organise events such as a Charity Fundraiser etc.

-You should be a role model for other students.

-At meetings if you wish to ask a question you must raise your hand and when prompted by the Chairperson to go ahead you must begin with the word: “Through the Chair”. Respect is vital at meetings, you must be committed to your role, listen attentively, contribute to discussions/voting and respect fellow members.

 

 

Appendix 1:

Guidelines for Senior Management Meeting with Students interested in becoming a member of the Student Council

Introduction:

The Student Council is a representative body of students who provide a voice for the general student population with in the school.  `The aims of the council include:

-Providing a forum for students to discuss their concerns and affairs.

-To support Management in the development and running of the School.

-To improve the lines of communication between all school partners (Students, Teachers, Non-Teaching staff, School Management, Board of Management, Parents and the Local Community).

-To promote an environment suitable for the personal development of all students in line with the school’s Mission Statement.

-To organise and run events throughout the school year for the Student body.

-To nurture important skills among students, e.g. participation, leadership, problem-solving etc.

-To contribute in a meaningful way to the development of school policy.

 

Skills Required:

-Honest, Reliable, Responsible, Ability to lead by example, Good Communicator, Enthusiastic, Confident, Fair, Loyal, Confidential, Courteous.

As a Council member:

-You will wear your Student Council badge at all times while in School uniform.

-You will be expected to represent the students in your Year Group.  In this respect it is important that you know your fellow students.

-You will be expected to inform fellow students as to when meeting is coming up.

-You will be expected to listen to fellow students concerns and bring them to the Council.

-You will be expected to inform your class/year group if important issues are raised at meeting.

-You will be expected to keep your eyes and ears open around the school and be alert to situations which may need to be brought up at Council meetings.

-You will be expected to carry out tasks on behalf of the Council or School Management, e.g. organise events such as a Charity Fundraiser etc.

-You should be a role model for other students.

 

 

Appendix 2:

 

Rationale for Nomination Process, Election procedure and Numbers Elected.

 

The school community at CBS Roscommon is comprised of approximately 380 students. Therefore, in order to have a fair and balanced representation from each class group it is recommended that two students be elected from each class group where possible within each year group.

 

It is recommended that students are no longer nominated by their peers in order to ensure that the student has a voice. Hence, students who are interested in becoming members of the Student Council should nominate themselves by the process outlined in the policy.

 

The above is open to continuing review.