A message from the Chair of the KEASTON Student Council:
“Following powerful words from Dr McKee during assembly, drastic changes were made to the running of the Student Council. So drastic in fact, that this year can be marked the inauguration of the student council ‘revolution’. Since September we have raised over £6,000 for various charities, given a number of assemblies, improved the quality of food in the school canteen, pushed through the refurbishment of the West Wing basement to transform it into a multi-faith prayer room for next year, improved toilet hygiene, proposed new House events, increased the speed of school Wi-Fi, consulted with the Head and Deputy Head on a number of issues and school initiatives, and participated in the interview processes for teachers of Mandarin, Mathematics, French, German, History, and Computing, as well as a Head of Department for Geography and a new Deputy Head for the school.
“Gone are the days of the enforced non-uniform fee; replaced by a voluntary charitable contribution. Being the general consensus, it is universally agreed that this system promotes a charitable culture, rather than the chore that some saw it like before. One may assume this change would decrease the total donations, but to all our astonishments the school has far surpassed the average raised in previous years.
“To support the school’s renewed interest, new leadership roles have been created; Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and PR officers. These, along with 26 other students, one from each tutor group, who are elected democratically in their form groups, meet regularly together in a group of 32 to discuss required changes with the school. Every fortnight or so, there is a whole Council meeting which is then supplemented by regular Year Council meetings. But what sets our Council apart from Councils in previous years is our generous four-figure budget, with which the Council’s ideas can be put to use. This year we have used the budget to get the lines re-painted for all sports on the school courts, including re-aligning the basketball lines to match up with our recently purchased basketball hoops, as well as ordering a new outdoor table-football table for September.
“To be elected into the Council is something many leadership-orientated students aspire to. During the voting, the candidate must give a talk to their classmates about why they would be the best candidates, along with some ways they can change the school. Their task is to take feedback from peers, and address issues raised in the meetings to their form.
“One main responsibility of the Council is to aid the governors in the staff interview panel. A small group of members interview prospective staff unsupervised – they chair their own meetings and devise their own questions and in general, represent the students’ requirements in staff. Feedback is taken on board and is greatly appreciated by the Head Teacher and governors.
“Cooperation and synergy between the Council and students is crucial in achieving everybody’s envision of a better school. To this end, it is easier than ever to suggest ideas. One can discuss ideas with their class representative, email any of the leadership team or even post onto the Moodle discussion page. After each meeting, extensive ‘Minutes’ are emailed to the whole school community, providing a detailed account of the actions and discussions in the meeting. This enhanced level of communication has served as a reminder that we are far more than a ‘non-uniform day’ group!
“So if you have a vision, and want to contribute to the school community, get involved with the Student Council next year! You can run as a form representative in your own form, be the next Chair, or just get in touch with us with your ideas!”
– Aarjav Jain, Chair of the Student Council 2016/17