We believe that it’s crucial for pupils to have a platform for voicing their opinions and suggestions, and for all girls to be involved in developing their experience of democratic process and self-expression.
Of course, lots of schools have a School Council. Few, however, are given their own budget, and few have such a tradition of outspoken debate that is listened to by senior members of staff and which leads to real change. OHS students are trusted to chair School Council meetings, involve their reps, identify ways forward and decide how to spend the annual budget so as to best affect the school community.
Significant achievements of School Council have included changes to our counselling procedures, the introduction of termly vertical PSHCE lessons, a greater number of outside speakers within the PSHCE programme, and the decision on which school charity to support … not to mention vital improvements to school life such as more variety of sandwich fillings at lunchtime!
Membership of the School Council is conferred by vote, with each form group electing a Dedicated School Council Representative. School Council Representatives collate thoughts from their peers during a dedicated Form Time and attend a sub-committee meeting (such as community, facilities, food, health and welfare) to share their feedback. The Chair of School Council is always one of the Prefects and leads School Council, with all members of the school community welcome to attend and contribute. We always arrange a special working lunch for all those attending.