A Smart School Council model emerges in Haringey

We are forever pointing out to schools that their school council model isn’t working and of course the question we get back is, ‘well what model do you suggest?’ We have always shied away from giving a direct answer, saying, ‘you need a model that meets your aims and fits your school.’ We have then encouraged schools to consider what they really want their school councils to be and what they want students to learn from being involved (and what they might learn from not being involved).

But that’s not always the most useful for response for schools that are busy and eager to get things working effectively for their students as quickly as possible. So taking inspiration from Jo Richardson Community School in Dagenham – who have a great school council model – we we have designed Smart School Council model that we believe can work really well in every school.

At the heart of it is the idea that Smart School Councils are universal, not just for a select few:

  • Smart School Councils use the interests and talents of everyone in the school
  • Smart School Councils encourage everyone to take action and see that only by taking action do you effect change
  • Smart School Councils give everyone the chance to develop her or his leadership, problem-solving and communication skills
  • Smart School Councils’ action and focus is driven by students’ interests
  • Smart School Councils communicate regularly with the whole school in ways that are accessible to all

This model is still in its early stages so, with funding from Awards for All, we are piloting it with a group of schools from Haringey. We had our first training session with staff before half-term, a modified version of our Smart School Council Masterclass.

If your school is interested in helping us develop this model, then please email [email protected] 

This is what Jared Hamilton, Head of English at Haringey Sixth From Centre thought of it:

The feedback from the teachers, learning mentors and TAs was overwhelmingly positive. The next phase is supporting them to put it into practice in their schools. Watch this space for updates on how it develops and when it’s ready to be released to the wider world.

Here are few photos of how we introduced the concept to our pilot schools.


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