Students Get A Voice On School Councils

14:48' 19-10-2017
Student members will be included on all government secondary school councils from next year, with full voting rights giving them more say in shaping the direction of their school.

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    Consultation with students, parents, principals, teachers and support staff will be held soon to lay the foundation for the changes, and discuss details for a common sense approach to decide what matters are not appropriate for students to participate in, such as staffing.

    Students elected to school councils will get training to help build their leadership capacity, so they can become better leaders both at their school and in the broader community.

    School councils play a key role in Victorian government schools, supporting the principal to provide the best possible education for students. Their three main responsibilities are overseeing annual budgets, strategic plans and school policies.

    They can also be involved in raising funds for school-related purposes, maintaining school grounds and facilities, reporting annually to the school community, and representing the views of the community.

    This move adds strength to the student voice, which has previously been limited to the work of the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC). After attempts by Victorian students to establish a state organisation dating back to the 1980s, the VicSRC was established in 2003. The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria offered office space for meetings and continues to support the group.

    Each year the role of teachers and the contribution of students are rewarded by the VicSRC Recognition Awards, covering five categories with a total prize pool of $20,000.

    Earlier this year the Minister announced funding of $132,000 to set up the Student Voice Hub, a new online resource centre. At that time he also announced a 27% funding increase for VicSRC of $750,000 over the next three years.

    Announcing this latest move, Minister for Education James Merlino said, “Young people should have a say in the future direction of their school. We want our kids to be future leaders in our communities and developing these skills is a crucial step in making that happen.”

    Marcia G



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Keywords: school councilsstudent membersvictorian student representative council

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