Student Council

At Northern Counties School the value and importance of students contributing their opinions about all aspects of school life and articulating their own needs and wants is continually promoted and encouraged by all staff. Many of our children with complex ASD or PMLD cannot participate in a formal meeting due to the complexity of their specific needs but instead are offered one to one opportunities in order to express their feelings and views where appropriate.

The school council meets on a monthly basis for a duration of approximately forty five minutes. The members are predominantly pupils from our hearing impaired cohort and some older verbal ASD pupils who are able to contribute to the meetings with support from familiar staff. The members of the school council have been voted on to it by their class, to represent them. During the meetings specific matters which have arisen that month are discussed, all representatives have the opportunity to raise any relevant facts on behalf of their peers and to report back on any discussions which have been completed within class from the previous agenda.

Over the last year the school council has organised a pumpkin competition to raise funds for a wheelchair accessible roundabout, were involved in organising a pyjama party in order to support one family in raising money for two cancer charities, met with the catering team to discuss the quality and choice of school lunches, organised for the purchase of some new football goal posts and worked with the medical team to create pictures for the new well-being room. The council are encouraged to consider the school environment and the needs of their peers who might have different needs to themselves and may not be able to express these.

The agenda for each meeting is shared with all classes prior to the meeting itself for consideration and comments to be formulated in preparation for discussion at the school council meeting. The minutes of meetings are shared with all classes in school in order that the whole school community is involved and can comment on those issues pertinent to themselves. The council also have the opportunity to meet with Senior Leaders throughout the school year to present ideas and changes that they would like to the school.  The school council gives pupils the opportunity to have their voice heard and to feel that they are part of the planning and running of Northern Counties School.  It gives the pupils the responsibility to record and present the views of their peers and practice social communication skills, speaking, listening and signing skills and to improve their confidence when communicating with peers and staff.

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