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Student voice

Many decisions that you make on a governing or school council will have a direct impact on the students at your school. When this is the case, it’s a good idea to hear from the students. There are different ways to do this, including through a student representative council (SRC) or student association.

When a school has no adult students, having a student as a member of council is optional. However, for schools with mostly adult students, students should make up the majority of council members. Nominated students are normally elected by the SRC. This is a formal process that can be different at each school.

How to hear from students

Some schools have flexibility in how they hear from students. Some ways are:

  • surveys
  • brainstorming and research
  • consulting with students to find out what they need
  • interviews
  • discussions and informal conversations
  • suggestion boxes.

Benefits for the school

Setting up a way for students to have a voice on your council can:

  • allow students to have a say about what happens at their school
  • bring in students’ perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling
  • give  student-specific relevance and authenticity to what your council does
  • benefit from the enthusiasm, energy and creative thinking of students
  • have students represent their own ideas, opinions, knowledge and experiences to help improve the school
  • share in decisions about the school, for example:
    • school structure and administration
    • school rules including uniforms
    • teaching and learning
    • school facilities, buildings and grounds.

Benefits for the student

As a student working with the school or governing council you can:

  • have a say about what happens at your school
  • influence change, including shaping your own education
  • help organise events
  • be involved in decision-making, for example how your uniform or school dress code looks
  • give back to your school community
  • learn leadership skills and get experience guiding and negotiating with others
  • help recruit other students and get a wider range of experiences and skills.

Contact

Governing Councils, Office for Education and Early Childhood

Phone: 8226 9617
Emaildecd.sitegovernance [at] sa.gov.au