Depending on the group, you will have decide
what is the best way to introduce the activity with regard to
the human rights aspects, that is, the right to education and
the right to take part in decision-making processes. You can do
this either by asking people to share their existing knowledge
or by giving some initial input yourself.
The SWOT analysis is described and explained in the "Taking
action" (chapter 3)
Suggestions for follow-up
Let the group work further on the ideas generated in this activity
and, taking tips from the "Taking
action" chapter, strive for more say in the decision-making
in their school, college or club.
If the group enjoyed thinking about the sort of education they
would like to have, they may enjoy the board game "A
tale of two cities", which raises issues about what sort
of city people would like to live in.
When you are having your say - letting your voice be heard -
it is important to think about both what you want to say and how
you say it. Words have power and represent values and have different
meanings in different contexts. If you want to think more about
this, then look at the activity, "White
future" in the all different all equal education pack.
Ideas for action
The participants might consider linking and exchanging information
with other student councils in their area, at the national level,
Why have a school council?
A Student Council is intended to give students a voice in the
school issues that directly affect them. There are many good reasons
for establishing school councils and ensuring that they work effectively.
Participation in a school council promotes the educational or
personal development of pupils because:
- councils promote citizenship learning, political efficacy
and democratic attitudes
- councils promote social confidence and personal values
- students are empowered to challenge authority
- students learn how to make decisions in a fair and accountable
- students learn about the realities of life, for instance,
how to work within limited budgets or with unresponsive authorities.
- democratic management styles work better than autocratic
ones because they are ultimately more effective as they encourage
- councils encourage co-operation, harness energy and reduce
- councils can improve the atmosphere of the school: teachers
are trusted more, rules are shown to be more fairly based
- whatever the limitations because of outside social and political
pressures, a student council is a practical way of demonstrating
to students the good faith of the staff and commitment to certain