A student council is a group of elected ambassadors from the student body. They act as the voice of the students to raise issues, organise activities and create systems to enhance student life and community welfare. Student councils not only benefit the students directly participating, but the whole student community. Young people will get to experience democratic voting systems and practice good citizenship as they are encouraged to engage with matters which impact not only themselves, but also their fellow students. To help you explore some more of the benefits of student councils in schools, an independent school in Wiltshire has shared their insights.
Student councils amplify the voices of students and generate relevant action off the back of them to improve school life and promote the welfare of the student body. They organise projects and initiatives which recognise the needs of the students, not only making students feel more positive about their school experience but allowing them to feel as though they have some autonomy over school life and their academic careers. If students feel that their interests and concerns are being recognised and addressed they are more likely to feel valued as part of a community, more engaged with their education and more connected to their peers.
Young people who participate as members of a student council will have the opportunity to experience leadership roles and take on certain responsibilities as part of their position, preparing them for their future in the world of work. Depending on their role within the council they may have to delegate tasks or make decisions, helping to develop their confidence and teaching them to recognise their strengths and capabilities.
A successful student council relies on effective teamwork and democratic decision making, both important soft skills which will benefit students in their personal and professional relationships. Both council members and non-council members will learn the importance of working as a community to create a positive environment and will feel a sense of pride and achievement when they see how their ideas and actions can have meaningful outcomes.