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So you want to be a …
© School Councils UK 2006. Written by Lois Canessa and Asher Jacobsberg.Please feel free to reproduce this resource with acknowledgement (non-commercial use only).
S c h o o l C o u n c i l s U K R o l e G u i d e 0 1
What is a rep?
Reps are elected by their class, form ortutor group (we’ll just call these all‘classes’ from now on, to make iteasier) to represent those people whoelected them.They act as a link between their classand other groups – year councils,school councils and other committees.Reps have to be willing and able toput forward other people’s views evenif they disagree with them.
What kind of person makes a good rep?
Good listener – everyone in the class has to feel comfortable talking to you
Organised – it will be your responsibility to make sure meetings happen in yourclass on a regular basis
Assertive – the opinions of your class are just as important as everyone else’s
Efficient – class discussions must cover a lot of issues in a short space of time
Fair – everyone has the right to express a point of view
Good communicator – you need to be able to work with staff and studentsfrom across the school
So if I were a rep what would I actually have to
As a rep you have three main jobs:
Collecting the views of yourclass and passing them on toother committees.
Letting your class know whatgoes on in the meetings youattend.
Taking an active part inmeetings.To do these jobs well you should haveregular meetings with your classwhere you will listen to people’sconcerns and issues and note themdown.
emember that not everyone likestalking in meetings, so make sure you are approachable in other ways. Make it clear that peoplecan talk to you at break times;have a suggestions box or suggestions email account.
With your class you should decidewhich of these issues can be dealtwith by the class itself, and whichneed to go to another committee (theyear council or school council). It’sthen your job to talk to the chair ofthe other committee and get yourclass’s concerns on the agenda.You will then need to put forwardyour class’s views at year council orwhole school council meetings. Youare the link between the school/yearcouncil and your class so you need tolet your class know what happened inthe other meeting, any decisions thatwere made or questions that need tobe asked.
It’s particularly important to make sure you know what is happeningto suggestions made by your class:it’s your job to let them know that their ideas are being taken seriously.
You need to be prepared to go tomeetings and make yourself heard,but also be willing to listen anddiscuss. Remember, you are there torepresent all the different points ofview that people in your class mayhave, so you need to spend timelistening to your class and be flexibleenough to put across a range ofopinions.