Get ready for Anti-Bullying Week: 18-22 November 2013

This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is fast approaching so it’s time to Band Together with BeatBullying and show your support in the fight against bullying.  Order your iconic blue wristbands now at beatbullying.org/shop and receive a 10% discount.

 

BeatBullying is also providing loads of lesson plans, resources and ways you can get involved during Anti-Bullying Week.  Download these FREE packs at antibullyingweek.org.

 

School Councils UK supports BeatBullying and Anti-Bullying Week.

Improve the effectiveness of your School Council for the coming academic year with School Council Training

As Link Teacher, how confident are you that your School Council is operating at its absolute best?  Are you sure that your students fully understand just how important their role is?  Do the SLT really listen when you or the students report back?

If you would like to improve the effectiveness of your School Council, then we have a very cost-effective answer for you.  We are very excited to be able to offer a new School Council Training option.

We have two very experienced Trainers who will  provide one-to-one training sessions for Link Teachers.  Each session is an intensive two hour personal tuition time to help you work with your School Council to achieve their very best.

So, if your school is within approximately one hour travel time from either:

SUTTON, in Surrey

OR

FRODSHAM, in Cheshire (ie, Halton, NW Cheshire)

Then do get in touch.

Each session is just £175.00 plus VAT, plus the Trainer’s travel expenses (train fares at cost or mileage at 40p per mile).  If you are more than one hour travel time from the above locations, this training option is still available but additional costs may apply.

Resources are included to help you continue to develop the ability of your School Council to contribute fully to the improvement of the school as a whole. (NB: Secondary Toolkit provided as a PDF on CD)

Secondary Resource PackPrimary Resource Pack

 

Email me: sallypage@schoolcouncils.org

Call me:  0845 456 9428 (local rate call)

Solar Energy saves money and cuts carbon!

SCUK has been asked by The Solar Schools Project to let you know about their great fundraising kit that helps schools to raise the money they need to install solar panels, and make the most of Solar Energy!

They want 100 schools to join them!

Applications are open and they have extended the deadline for 2013/14 until 29th May.

The Solar Schools Project provides each participating school with:

  • A webpage on the Solar Schools site – designed by experts to make it easy and appealing for family, friends, businesses and ex-pupils to donate.
  • Printed resources like banners, posters and stickers to help spread the word
  • Training sessions on everything from fundraising to press work
  • How-to packs, case studies and videos to help along the way
  • Staff support throughout the journey – their team is always on hand for advice.

The Solar Schools Project says:

“Investing in solar energy cuts carbon and cushions schools against rising fuel costs.  Plus, thanks to government Feed-In Tariffs which provide an income to anyone installing renewable energy, (such as solar energy) our Solar Schools will enjoy an additional boost to their budgets for 20 years”

The Solar Schools Project brings far more than just finances to your school:

  • An exciting new way to teach pupils about energy by involving them in a positive, practical project that tackles climate change
  • New enthusiasm for eco-work within the school
  • Improved links with parents and local businesses & organisations
  • Boosting the profile of their school in the local area
  • New skills and confidence that can be applied to other exciting projects in the future!

Visit their website now to find out more about solar energy, how The Solar Schools Project works and make an application:

www.solarschools.org.uk

or contact them at: hello@solarschools.org.uk

 

We’ve noticed that many school no longer refer to “School Councils”, instead choosing to call their Student Voice body a “Student Council”.  So that we can keep up with the times, and provide schools with the best resources to support their Councils (by whatever name!), we are pleased to be able to offer STUDENT COUNCIL tablet badges in our online shop at www.schoolcouncilshop.org

 

We are very excited to have been able to add new Eco/Green resources to our online shop at www.schoolcouncilshop.org.

We know that young people are keen to protect the environment and the animals and birds that share our planet, so we have have added several products to our Eco/Green section.  Do take a look!  These great additions to our stock of resources will help any School Council, Eco Sub-Committee or Eco Council with their planet-protecting work!

 

 Are there more resources that you would like us to provide?  Do let us know sallypage@schoolcouncils.org

 Calling all young green champions!

Enter today and you could win £6000* funding from Ecover

The Observer Ethical Awards in association with Ecover is calling on teachers, parents and youth group leaders to encourage their Young Green Champions to enter their world saving ideas into the Ecover Young Green Champions Award competition so that they have the chance to win £6000* funding from Ecover to help make them happen.

The Ecover Young Green Champions award is open to classmates, youth groups, friends and individuals who are under the age of 18 with ideas so good they’ll make everyone around them leap in the air with joy!  Perhaps you know of a student already saving the world (or at least your local community or school) through their brilliant recycling scheme or a youth group rescuing wildlife or busting carbon footprints.  If so, the judges want to hear about it, and more importantly what they plan to do with the prize money to really make a difference.

For all the enormous effort that you, as adults, put into making these projects work, there is a further reward:  Nominate the project of the group you work with and encourage your Young Green Champions to enter and you could win a three night stay for a family of four at The Coppice Woodland in Hertfordshire with Sawday’s Canopy & Stars.

So what are you waiting for – CLICK HERE TO ENTER NOW!

*subject to terms and conditions

Student Voice research has been carried out for The Children’s Commissioner in 16 schools in England with a reputation for excellent student voice practice. The schools studied have very different circumstances and take a variety of approaches to student voice, but these approaches share some important elements:

Laying the foundations

Take a look at what school is for.  Think about what your school is actually trying to do.  Distinguish between the aims (eg creating able learners) from the external measures (eg exam results).  Ensure the school’s ethos and practice flow towards these aims.

Put student voice at the heart of learning and school life.  Schools see better learning when student voice is included.  Giving students control over aspects of their learning leads to much more engagement.

Make sure that your ethos is applied consistently.  Whatever the ethos of your school, both staff and students must be treated with respect.  That means senior leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime staff, students and parents all giving each other a voice and being given respect.

Start small.  Some schools found it useful to start with small projects with younger students that gradually ‘grow up through the school’.  Students then can demonstrate concrete results and improvements which they then use to convince reluctant staff.

Do it for real, rather than as a simulation.  Students learn from being exposed to real life issues and challenges.  They should learn that they don’t always get what they want, but that their voice is heard in real decision making about things that matter to them.

Creating the right structures

Everyone is included.  Make it clear that the aim is to include everyone in the school.  Respect ideas wherever they come from, and work hard to hear quieter, less confident students.

Have a wide range of ways to be involved.  This will encourage a wide range of students to get involved.  The schools researched did not see a school council as enough on its own.

Encourage regular interaction between students.  Set up ways for students to get quick access to space to meet, resources, permissions and each other.  This might be regular class council meetings or a student voice room.

Reflect your ethos in policies and governance.  The school’s values should feature in school policies, job descriptions, the curriculum, school developments plan and governance.  Make sure that key documents are written together with students and made accessible.

Making it powerful

Show impact.  Student voice is about action, so make sure that success and achievements are visible to students, staff and the community.  Collect research and evidence to prove it.  Student voice will not work if nobody can see what it’s for and what it does.

Link with the core work of the school.  Student voice shouldn’t be seen as an add-on.  Students can be involved in teaching and learning.

Trust students.  Have trust as a starting point, rather than something that they have to earn.  ‘Yes you can’ was the common default answer in the participating schools.

Show commitment by giving student voice a budget.  This doesn’t have to be large, even a small budget for the school councils shows trust and that student voice is taken seriously.

Communicate regularly through different channels.  Encourage students to lead on keeping up good communication with students, teachers, parents and governors.

Maintaining it

Support student voice with staff time.  Successful schools give staff time and resources to support student voice.  It doesn’t just happen without this.  Make student voice news a standing item in staff meetings, and ask students to get involved in keeping teachers up to date.

Link with governors.  Encourage students to input into governors’ meetings, have a standing item on their meeting agenda.  Ask a governor to come along to school council meetings.

Experiment, evaluate and reflect.  Look back and evaluate student voice projects and events.  Participating schools are not complacent about success, but trying new methods, evaluating them to improve things the next time around.

Click here to download as a PDF

www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

Please note that with effect from 2nd November 2012, our new address will be:

5, THE QUADRANGLE CENTRE

THE DRIFT

NACTON ROAD

IPSWICH

IP3 9QR

There is no change to the telephone and fax numbers, and no change to email addresses.