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05 Student Governors

Activity Guide (England)
School Councils UK
Who are the governors? democratic atmosphere. In other words –
The governing body of a school is everybody has their say.” Kieron’s
made up of volunteers from the impression of the result of associate
community, Local council, staff and governors reflects the school’s
parents. The make up of the overarching strategy of Student Voice.
governors depends on what type of Emma Bates, also from year 9, attends
school you attend. the governors’ meetings and the teaching
The role of the governing body is to and learning committee, where issues
set the direction of the school by from the school council are raised. Emma
taking responsibility for many aspects sees the value of student governors as an
of school life such as behaviour, opportunity for: “the governors to get an
appointment of staff and finances. insight into what goes on from a student’s
perspective.” After all, as Emma points
The governing body meet regularly, out: “who knows the school better than
and have the power to exert real the students?!”
change in school.
What about the pupils? As student governors are under 18,
Since September 1 2003, under-18 they are not part of the body
year olds have been able to become corporate, meaning that they are not
associate governors of schools. This legally responsible for the school the
means that you can sit on your way other governors are. Associate
school, or another schools governing governors are not allowed to vote on
body. decisions concerning admissions,
appointment of governors, pupil
An associate governor is appointed to discipline or the budget and financial
the governing body because they are commitments of the governing body.
adding specific skills concerning If an associate governor is under 18 at
certain issues and as a student the time of their appointment, they
governor you are an expert on what cannot vote at all. It is still worth
it’s like to be a pupil! becoming an associate governor-
What do they do? your advice and ideas directly
Student governors work with the influence other governors’ decisions.
governing body to support and Hanham High School in Bristol has key
develop all areas of the school. This stage 4 and 5 representatives from the
involves attending governors meetings school council as student governors. The
and committees. These structures are students attend full governors meetings,
similar to the school council and committee meetings. They are asked
structures; the full governing body for their views on specific areas of the
meetings have a chair and secretary, meeting agenda.
and create subcommittees to
investigate and develop solutions to Headteacher Peggy Farrington reports an
certain issues, for example behaviour, unforeseen spin-off - increased governor
school improvement or bullying. attendance, more dynamic meetings and
Becoming a student governor means the improved governor contribution at the
you are at the heart of decision meetings – “I feel that governors are
making and responsibility for the anxious to show the students that their
School Councils UK school. work is important and that they are doing
108-110 Camden High Street,
a good job!”
Cheadle Hulme College in Stockport has
London NW1 0LU First Steps
0845 456 9428 an effective school council, whose
members can become student governors. If you want to embed pupil
participation and student voice into Year 9 student governor Kieron Barnes is
the running of your school by having
enthusiastic about his position: “Being an
student governors, take the time to
associate governor is all about
think through the following issues:
representing the students on the
governing body. I think having students on Is your school council effective?
the governing body gives a more To have successful student governors

© School Councils UK 2005. Please feel free to reproduce this resource with acknowledgement (non-commercial use only)
it essential to have an effective school
• How do student governors fit into a
Activity Guide
School Councils UK
council. If there are strong systems in
wider strategy of pupil
place of consultation, discussion,
action and feedback in the school, the
better chance there is of student • What does the school need from
governors being practiced enough in the LEA?
participation and relaying information
back and forth between staff and Keeping it going
students. Taking responsibility for school is
often hard and tiring- ask your
Consult with pupils, parents, governors about how exciting their
staff and governors meetings usually are!
Developing student voice in school
affects everyone that has a Communicate to the rest of the school
connection with the school. These what goes on in governors meetings.
groups of people should therefore be The topics raised there can really
consulted about new directions. Your draw attention to your school council,
school council is well placed to and give a range of challenges for the
communicate with the whole school council to tackle.
community. The following actions can help you
Check status of the governing keep up the good work as a student
board governor:
The governing body has to agree to
appoint student governors in order for
• Assigning one governor to take
responsibility for linking the
them to become a possibility in
governing body and the school
school. The governing body will have
to reconstitute to include associate
members. For more information on • Regular meetings between the
reconstituting the governors, contact school council and the whole
your local LEA. governing body, or one committee
Create a plan of Associate • ‘School council matters’ included
Membership as a standing item on governing
After consultations and meeting with body agendas with a
the governing body, you should • presentation of recent business by
develop a plan of how student pupil councillors as a matter of
governors are going to work in your course
school; for example:
• ‘Governor matters’ included as a
• How are student governors standing item on school council
• Which year group are student • School council members being
governors from? given observer status on governing
body meetings.
• How long will the student
governors serve? To be a great student governor,
• Does anybody need any support or remember there are other schools out
training? there trying to boost student voice like
School Councils UK
you. Getting in touch with schools in
108-110 Camden High Street, • What is the student governors’ your area to share resources, stories
London NW1 0LU relationship and feedback to the and advice can really improve
0845 456 9428 school council and the wider participation in your school. student body like? More information on the role of
How are adult governors going to governors can be found at
react to student governors?
• Which governors meetings shall
the students attend when they

© School Councils UK 2005. Please feel free to reproduce this resource with acknowledgement (non-commercial use only)