A Democratic School Council
It is important that pupils’ voices are heard at Pleckgate High School and there are two different forums that allow this to happen.
Pleckgate Pupil Council is a representative body for the pupils at Pleckgate. It consists of two pupils from each form in years 7-11, a group of Senior Prefects in Year 11 are also involved in leading the Pupil Council.
The School Council representatives are elected by their peers. The Council meets once a term to discuss specific and relevant issues that have been raised by pupils. A number of issues and topics have been on the agenda this year:
- Raising money for charity.
- The school environment.
- Examinations for years 7, 8, 9 and 10.
- School trips.
- School uniform.
The Pupil Council meets once every half term, and each meeting is split up into year group meetings. A senior prefect runs each group meeting whereby they take notes about the issues and ideas raised. Once the meetings have finished, the senior prefects then debrief with a member of staff so that all the ideas can be put forward to the senior leadership team. The idea of the senior prefects running the meetings, rather than a member of staff, stemmed from the pupils wanting ‘ownership’ over the pupil Voice. So far this has been a very successful system, which has allowed many changes to be made. In addition to this we carry out regular pupil voice at Pleckgate High School that allows pupils from across all five-year groups to have their opinions and voices heard.
Once a term the school council representatives attend the Senior Leadership Meeting and present their ideas to the Headteacher and the leadership team.
Examples of key changes the school council has championed this academic year are;
- Examination dates and timings for key stage 3 and year 10.
- An increased emphasis on money and finance education as part of the PSHE curriculum for years 9-11.
- More food options available in the school canteen and reduced dinner queues.
- A specific subject intervention timetable so that year 11 are able to attend a variety of sessions after school.
This is just a small sample of things that have changed for the better due to the valued opinions of the pupil voice. This system also works in line with the school motto ‘Aspire & Believe. Act & Succeed’ as it highlights the importance of believing positive things can happen if acted upon in the correct way.