The Student Council of KE Aston meets one lunch time every fortnight. It consists of 34 students, one from each tutor group from year 7 up to the sixth form. They are selected by a democratic process organised by each tutor group where the prospective candidates give a brief talk to the rest of the form about what they would do to represent them on the council. Councillors bring issues concerning their tutor group to the meetings and then feedback any discussion or decisions to their tutor group during form time on a Tuesday morning. Issues being followed up currently include; whether there should be more specialist ties for sports teams captains; the opening times of the school gates for people who catch trains; access to the school for students with large sports bags of musical instruments; the school ‘safe route’ and many other issues.
If the council would like to hear information directly from senior teachers about the future of the school, staff and curricular changes, school policies or transport issues, then they will invite the teacher responsible to one of the meetings. This term they have brought in the head teacher and the head of sixth form.
One of the key roles of the Student Council is to run the schools charity system. Each year, charities are nominated by students and staff, then the Student Council select those that we will raise money for through non-uniform days. The Student Council raise awareness of each charity by leading assemblies to the whole school in the week before the fund raising event. This year we are supporting the RSPCA, Help for Heroes, Sands – mothers with still born babies and Cancer Research UK. Just over £1000 is raised during each non-uniform day. Many of the students undertake activities or sponsorship to increase the amount of money raised.
A responsibility that the Student Councillors are particularly keen on is the formation of interview panels for prospective teachers. A panel of about seven Student Councillors interview each teacher candidate for around twenty minutes. They chair their own interview, devise their own questions and are not supervised in this process. The chair’s feedback is taken into account and is greatly appreciated by the head teacher and the governors.
Student Councillors are also Sports Council representatives for the school – a dual role developed this year. They attend training sessions and plan sporting activities for the rest of the school.
At the end of the year a presentation of the Council’s activities, decisions, changes and implementations is given to a full governors meeting.