At the West Park Academy, our children have an important part to play in making decisions about the life and work of the school. One of the ways in which children can have their say and make sure that their views and ideas are listened to is through the Academy Council.
What is an Academy Council?
An academy council:
• gives our children the chance to tell teachers, staff, parents and other children their ideas
• represents each class in the school
• meets regularly to talk about important school issues and projects
• puts forward the class views at council meetings
• takes forward the views of the very young classes, who may find it difficult to put forward other’s opinions.
Before the Academy Council meeting:
• Academy Council reps agree the theme for each meeting based on the schools’ vision, values and aims and on the agreed action plan for the year
• Every class discusses the agreed theme with their teacher and provides ideas, comments, suggestions etc. for the reps to take to the academy council meeting – this makes sure that every child in our school is involved and has a voice
• Reps from each class make sure they know and understand what they have to take to the meeting
• Once a half-term, a whole school academy council meeting will be held in the hall with all children present.
During the Academy Council meeting:
• important issues are discussed, ideas shared and action points decided
• discussions must be orderly and fair, with everyone having an equal opportunity to talk or be listened to
• the chairperson should make sure that representatives show respect for each other.
After the meeting:
• representatives report back to their class while things are still fresh in their minds – this helps every academy to feel involved
• teachers must give enough time to let the class discuss points that have been raised
• a school suggestion box can be used to gather ideas throughout the week: these can be discussed by the class before agreeing to present to the Academy Council. It is the job of the communications officer to bring these suggestions to the meeting.
The Academy Council:
• involves you in decisions that affect you, your class and your school
• keeps you informed about the life of the school
• helps you to gain the confidence to have your say
• helps you to feel good about your place in the school community
• gives you responsibilities and encourages you to be an active citizen
• gets exciting issues moving
• deals quickly with issues that trouble you.