The student council at St Brendan’s College is reconstituted annually. Its’ primary function is to provide a means by which students and teachers can work together in a democratic forum on an agenda of school life improvement!
As outlined in the constitution the whole Council meets once a fortnight. The Executive Council meets with the school senior management on a weekly basis or as needs determine.
The purpose of the Council is to afford students and staff the experience of shared responsibility and decision making on matters of importance to the life of the college. In the past year the Council has been very involved in reworking the Homework and Revision Policy, the Behaviour Code and the anti-bullying structures in the College. Members have led celebrations of St Brendan’s day, liaised with staff in subcommittee format on the structuring of Dignity, Respect, Wellness week activities, supported planning of school events and organised the Tidy Towns work of our students.
Student Council members are central to the peer mentoring, Base group and peer education elements of the pastoral care programme. They are also heavily involved in the promotion of fundraising activities for St Vincent De Paul and the Kerry Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The Executive of the Council is an excellent sounding board to the senior management and are a positive force in the life of St Brendan’s.
Role of the student council:
- To create a better school life for all students.
- To represent students and to give them a voice.
- To be a resource working in conjunction with the staff, parents and management of the school for the benefit of the whole school community.
- To improve the school atmosphere.
- To act as a liaison and a line of communication between students, staff, parents and management and to support them in their efforts to maintain an environment conducive to the holistic development of the students of St. Brendan’s College.
Work of the student council:
- The student council will work to achieve a list of goals set out at the start of the year.
- In addition to this, the council will represent the student body and work to find solutions to any problems brought to the attention of the council by students.
- The student council aims to bridge the gap between the student body and the staff and management and work to encourage cooperation and mutual respect within the school community.
Election and Structure:
- There will be 2 students per core class.
- There will be 1 student per LCA year group.
- Voting takes place in one class period, members of the outgoing student council will go to each class and talk the groups through the voting process.
- Votes are to be taken in September.
- Students nominate themselves and are voted in by their own classmates (only 1 vote per student).
- The term in office is one academic year.
Student council officers:
- Once the student council members get to know each other, the officers will be elected, this will take place in the first or second meeting.
- One secretary will be elected
- One treasurer will be elected.
- The school will provide a council liaison teacher.
- A maximum of 2 chairpersons will be elected. (This shall normally be the Head Prefect and Deputy Head Prefect)
- Candidates may be nominated for election or indeed nominate oneself
Meetings and decision-making:
- The student council will meet at least every fortnight.
- Meetings may be called by the Chairperson(s).
- All council members are expected to attend each meeting.
- Attendance is recorded and minutes are taken.
- When making a decision any member of the council may call for a vote to be held and where the votes are divided evenly, the chairperson has the casting vote.
- All council members have an equal say and are expected to contribute.
- Once goals for the year are established, the council may split into subcommittees.
- Each subcommittee will have students from both junior and senior cycle.
- Each subcommittee will have a leader.
Finance and fund-raising:
- The treasurer will keep an up to date and accurate account of all council fundraising and expenditure.
- The council is self-funded and must raise the funds for any necessary items or goods.
- The council must consult with management when planning fundraising activities and large purchases.
Removal of student council members:
- The student council has the right to remove a member if that member fails to attend meetings or is not committed to the work or aims of the council.
- Failure to attend 3 meetings without providing sufficient reasons will result in the removal of the student from the student council.
- The student has the right to appeal before the council in which case a vote will be held with regard to their future in the council.