A Student Council is a representative structure through which students in a post-primary school can become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management and staff and parents for the benefit of the school and its students.
Why have a Student Council?
The Education Act, 1998 recognises that Student Councils are an increasingly common feature in post-primary schools and have worked to the benefit of many schools. The Act seeks to extend the success of this model to other post-primary schools throughout the country. Students have a valuable contribution to make to the effectiveness of their school and their involvement in the operation of the school is itself a valuable part of the education process for the students. A Student Council provides an opportunity for students to engage in a structured partnership with teachers, parents and school managers in the operation of their school. Research indicates that Student Councils can improve academic standards and reduce dropout rates in schools. Student Councils can create a sense of ownership of the school and its activities among the student population. The establishment of a Student Council gives students an opportunity to acquire the sort of communication, planning and organisational skills which will be of benefit to them in their future lives. It enables students to take responsibility for projects, and to demonstrate that they can manage and bring such projects to successful conclusion. Moreover, the contribution made by a Student Council to the development of school policy in a number of areas can have significant benefits for students and the school. School policies are far more likely to be successful where they are clearly understood and accepted by all partners within the school community. The Education Act recognises that students of a school will take the lead role in the establishment and operation of a Student Council, although the Act also provides an important role for the Board of Management in supporting the establishment and ongoing development of the Student Council. At the end of the day, a Student Council will thrive only if students themselves are committed to the concept and to making it work.
Student Council in Loreto College.
Each class across each year group elects a representative to the Student Council, who meet regularly with staff representatives. Students are encouraged to discuss issues of relevance to them and to participate in the decision-making process in our school. These students are active in fundraising for charity, and in the organisation of wellbeing days and events, as well as events relating to current affairs for the benefit of staff, students and the wider community. Thanks are extended to the Student Council of 2019/2020 for their endeavours on behalf of their school community, and to their mentor, Ms Jennifer Bracken.