What is the Smart School Councils model?

The purpose of the model is to get every student in school actively involved in the school council. That’s what makes it ‘smart’: it uses the whole school community’s ideas, interests and skills. It doesn’t rely on a few committed people. In working this way it also develops the skills, commitment and involvement of everyone in the school. It is a participative model of democracy: everyone is listened to, but if you want change you have to put some effort in, not ask someone else to do it for you.

If you’d like to find out more, please come along to our Smart School Council Masterclass. You’ll hear examples from the 142 schools across England using the model. Or you can sign up for premium membership that gives you all the resources you need to implement, and a clear step by step process.

It consists of three main elements:

Smart School Council Model


Class Meetings Communication Team Action Teams
Purpose A way for people to get the view of the whole school.A way for people to raise ideas and issues that they want to be addressed or want help with.A way for the whole school to communicate with each other quickly and frequently. Keep staff, students, parents, governors and visitors up to date with what is going on across the school.Identify students who are not engaged in any activities. Action Teams are set up by students to address an issue they care about.Their purpose is to make a change in the school or wider community.They give students a chance to become leaders, make a change and pursue their interests.
How do you get to be on it? Everyone participates through their form groups. Students are elected to the Communication Team, but other students with particular interest or skills can join (e.g. a team may be set up to produce the newsletter). Anyone can join an Action Team, but then need to attend meetings and pull their weight.To start a new Action Team you need an idea, some people to help you and a member of staff to sponsor you.
How often does it happen? Happen every week, in every form group. Ongoing, but those co-ordinating tutor meeting feedback need to meet at least once a week. As frequently as needed.
Who runs it? Run by different students each week so everyone gets a chance to have a go. Each member has responsibility for a specific medium (e.g. assemblies, noticeboards, newsletter, website, Twitter) or role (e.g. collating Class Meeting data, going to Governing Body meetings). Meetings are run by a chair and secretary chosen by the other members of the Action Team.
How does it work? Has a set format that runs in the same way every week. Short weekly meeting to make sure all issues are covered.Then small sub-groups meet to carry out work. Decided by the Action Team.
What does it do? Share feedback from action taken by students.Discussion of whole school issues in small groups. Sends ideas and issues from Class Meetings to the relevant Action Team or staff member.Co-ordinates the diary so that events put on by Action Teams don’t clash. Designs and runs activities, campaigns and events in the school and wider community.
Who does it report to? Views shared in form group and sent to Communication Team through online form. Collects data from and provides updates for Class Meetings and Action Teams. They report their action points to the Communication Team.

What's your idea for an action team

If you’d like to find out more, please come along to our Smart School Council Masterclass

If you’d like to download and print the information on this page, this PDF has it all nicely formatted (it also includes the image above):


  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if I could get some help on the type/wording of questions that could be asked in the class meetings?


    1. Thanks very much for letting us know. I’m not sure what caused the problem, but I’ve added new versions of the file and they seem to be downloading correctly now.

Leave a Reply