The School Council was founded in 1919, and our self-government system is still an important part of St Chris, empowering pupils to play an active role in school life and giving them an early taste of democracy in action.
The system is run by a group of elected Major Officials. These are students who are elected in Year 12 to run the various school committees including Be Green (our environmental committee); the human rights committee and the events and fundraising committee.
The Council is made up of one Councillor from each Company (tutor group). Anyone may attend Council meetings and put forward motions for discussion, but only Councillors may vote.
Proposals passed by Council are then discussed at a meeting of the entire Senior School chaired by the Head Boy and Head Girl. These take place twice per term.
A vote is taken and it is the responsibility of the Major Officials to ensure that resolutions passed in a School meeting are enacted.
While the Head does have a power of veto, it has only been used five times in the past 30 years.
Recent initiatives that have been proposed, passed and enacted by Council include the redevelopment of the School’s cookery classrooms (the ‘Vege Centre’), the introduction of a skate park and the development of a Zen garden.
The Junior School Council, comprising two elected representatives from each class, meets each Tuesday to discuss issues affecting the Junior School and is supported by the Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl, from the Senior School.
During the meeting children report back on their class’s response to the previous meeting, and then discuss any issues, ideas or concerns. These might be their own ideas, or they might be relaying something form their class. Some classes have a box for people to put suggestions in, others rely on good communication from councillors.
This term the Junior School Council arranged a vote for the charity which would be supported by the Christmas Fair, which was in the end, Cancer Research UK. Each councillor discussed the choice of charity with their class then returned to council and gave their representation. The choice was whittled down to just three charities, then voted on as a council. All the children knew of someone whose life had been touched by cancer, so were very pleased with the ultimate decision. One or two of the children were disappointed that “their” charity had not been picked, but this led to an interesting discussion about democracy and everyone was happy.
Every child in school council makes a significant contribution to school life, from the youngest to the oldest. The children are very involved in the discussions and decision making, and they have their own budget.
“The children on Junior School Council are wise, sensible and concerned about keeping their school running as a happy, vibrant place where everybody is respected.” Christine, Year 6 teacher