School council ideas

DSC_0585School councils need creative and positive ideas to solve issues and finish projects in a school. But why should we limit the pupils who are allowed to get involved in these projects to a small group of school councillors? We’ve created the Smart School Council Model to open out opportunities and to help all pupils to develop these skills. Find out more here

One thing that will always help is supporting your pupils to have good ideas. But what do they really want to work on? Is everything working well in the school? What else could be improved? How can we engage more pupils in doing this?


From our experience with schools, here’s a list of school council and student voice ideas that school councils often concentrate on.



  • Conflict resolution
  • Target setting
  • Buddies


  • Student Panel
  • Prefect System
  • Prefect system based on school council
  • ‘Self Government’ responsible for rules


  • Code of Conduct
  • Setting class ground rules – school council ground rules help
  • Linking local community to school council to deal with after school issues
  • Head boy/girl oversee prefect system
  • Rewards and sanctions group


Due to structure

  • Involving all students
  • Power
  • Money
  • Time
  • Influence
  • Succession


  • Is it democratic?
  • Censorship required?
  • Getting a representative group
  • Getting responses completed and handed back
  • Pleasing everyone
  • Unsupportive colleagues

Individuals’ ability

Perception issues

  • Seen negatively by other students
  • Pupils not on council/identified by badges, ties, etc. might feel they have less influence
  • Getting people to recognise the importance

Teaching and learning

Students to research attitudes to learning

Peer support

  • Peer assessment
  • Peer mentoring
  • Peer tutoring (reluctant readers)
  • Student academic mentors

Formal student evaluation

  • Student SEF
  • Faculty reviews
  • Insted (student Ofsted)
  • Lesson observations by student council
  • Reviews
  • Student observers
  • Students observing rooms focussing on noticeboards and levelled work

Informal student evaluation

  • Learning walks
  • Discussion on T&L

Student planning and teaching

  • Students teaching G&T lessons
  • Numeracy, literacy and sports leaders
  • Curriculum planning
  • Ambassadors for different subject areas
  • Sports ambassadors



  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Students approached governors and got £500 to kick off project
  • Campaign to use both sides of paper in ICT

Eco council

  • Huge electricity bill
  • School eco bag
  • Sustainability
  • Recycled stationery shop
  • Eco bags competition

Built environment

  • Surveys
  • Students designing toilets in BSF
  • Changing the building
  • Environmental group (outside spaces)

School environment

  • Sub-committees
  • New uniform put in place by school council
  • School improvement
  • House leaders recognised through their tie and jumpers
  • Fund raising for school council to meet objectives


Staff appointments

Leaders wristbands

  • Community
  • Befriender
  • Attender

Fund raising activities

  • Enterprise
  • Anti-bullying (FAB)
  • Good Citizenship Awards

Peer mentoring

  • Bullying
  • Advisors
  • Student website
  • Council target setting using SMART targets to measure success
  • Creating a handbook for new migrant students


  • Attending governors meetings
  • Student-led magazine
  • Tour guides
  • Representing the school at events
  • Students helping with SEF
  • Decorating toilets
  • Participatory budgeting
  • Student leadership


  • Major officials system
  • 1 vote per member of school


  • Charity decisions
  • Fund raising
  • Policy discussion


  • Anti-racism policy
  • How staff should deal with racism in class
  • Pupils running enrichment activities

Whole school celebrations

  • Black history month
  • E-safety
  • Uniform changes
  • Assemblies
  • School council
  • Anti-smoking campaign
  • Patches

Check out the Smart School Council model here