Lesson 3, Topic 1
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The Roles Within Student Voice

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In this section of the course, you shall be considering how to put your Student Voice to use, making sure you utilise it as best as possible!

“The 2002 Education Act requires schools to consult with students.”

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‘School Council’ Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Every educational institution, no matter how big or small, or what ages they accommodate for, should strive to gather a group of students to act as representatives of the entire student body. This collective is most commonly called ‘School Council’, but may also be known as ‘Pupil Council’, ‘School Parliament’ ‘Student Forum’ or ‘Student Union’ – regardless of the name, they tend to be the same thing, and seeking similar outcomes: for students to be able to use their voice.

‘Remember, every single student has a ‘Student Voice’ – you don’t need a ‘formal role’ to use it! 

Those involved in the ‘School Council’ (a term we will use going forward to represent whatever grouping you have at your institution) may have been asked by a teacher or staff member to get involved, or they may have volunteered themselves to join in and provide help. Some may even have had to be elected – where they would’ve campaigned in some form (more on Student Campaigning later in the course) to gain votes from their fellow students. No matter how they came to be involved in the School Council, they are now representing the other students, acting as the ‘middleman’ to share the student’s voice to the teachers and school managers. It is important that they remember that with Student Voice, the voices being heard need to be actually that of the students themselves, and not just what the ‘adults’ around them may want to hear!