School Council is our mechanism for hearing pupils' voices and building their opinions into the management and development of our school. At Drayton Park we are very proud of our innovative and fully inclusive approach to School Council.
Every second Tuesday, after morning break, the whole school, from Years 1-6, split into a series of mixed-age groups. There are one or two children from each class in every group. Staff are also allocated to groups. This includes all the staff in the school, from senior managers to our office and premises staff. These groups discuss a single issue each time they meet. Everyone across the school is talking about the same thing at the same time, pooling their ideas and making sure that every voice is heard. At lunchtime, after School Council meetings have taken place, a Year 6 representative from each group meets with Mr Parrott, the headteacher, to hand over a record of each group's discussion and explain its content.
School Council enables us to hear the voice of almost all our pupils and staff. It is crucial to the way we teach and embed principles of democracy and participation. It is often used by the Governing Body to garner opinion on key issues, such as our school vision. When not discussing school issues, we use it as a teaching and learning tool. In recent years, we have held very successful School Council meetings on Remembrance Day, general elections and national referendums. We have also covered topics such as how safe we feel at school, and what it means to be an inclusive organisation.
Recently, a lot of other schools have started picking up on our model. We are getting visitors, who want to replicate it in their schools. We have also been written about by Mary Myatt, an acclaimed writer and researcher on educational best practice.
We produce an agenda for each School Council Meeting. This year's agendas are below.