Secondary school council at Laleham Gap has an important role to play in making sure students’ voices are heard and their views taken into account in the school’s decision-making processes. Each Year Group elects two councillors to represent them for the year. Meetings have until recently been held once a term, and are facilitated by a member of the teaching staff. The headteacher attends meetings to update councillors on latest school issues and to answer questions. Some of the issues dealt with by council this year has included: canvassing and collating the views of students on a proposed parent/carer, staff and student behaviour agreement; proposed changes to the school PE shirt; and purchasing a student noticeboard. Last year, council was involved in planning for outdoor improvements to Laleham Gap, from blue-sky thinking to budgets.
Council is now working on ways to improve its effectiveness and raise its profile. For example, following complaints by some councillors about what they considered to be an excessive length of time between council meetings, with the consequential delay in action, Mr Milton agreed to their request for more frequent meetings. From Term 5, council will meet monthly. This corresponds nicely with the development of the role of councillor, where, as a result of Laleham Gap’s status as a Rights Respecting School, councillors are to become Rights Respecting School Ambassadors. The aim is to ensure that 2019-2020 is a year in which our students’ voices are heard and responded to in ever-greater measure.