School council welcome pack – helping new school councillors

As you might expect, as someone really interested in education, schools and community I’m a school governor. One of the things I’m doing in that role currently is thinking about how we make new governors feel supported and able to play a constructive role as soon as possible. So I’ve started re-writing our governor induction pack – this is basically a welcome pack for new governors. It’s lead me on to thinking about not just what information we give to new governors, but what mentoring and training we need to give them and what we need them to do to make the most of it.

How to be a SMART school councillor

You need to create a guide for your school on how new school councillors can do a great job representing their peers and making things happen. You might want to include one of these for some ideas on your roles, collecting ideas and running meetings. Please excuse the shameless plug ;)

It occurred to me that new school councillors could do with a similar sort of pack and that getting current school councillors to write it would be really useful to get your new school council off to a flying start next year.

Below is the process we are going through and how I think it could work for a school council.

  1. Get together a small group of current school councillors – ideally some who have been on the council for a while and some who are new.
  2. Write down a list of all the things you wish you had known when you became a school councillor.
  3. Write down a list of all the support that you have found useful in your role as a school councillor.
  4. Add in any support that you would have liked but didn’t receive.
  5. Write a short document (no more than a page) that will be the cover of your induction pack. This should tell new school councillors what support they will get and list all the useful information that you will put in the welcome pack. We have organised under these headings, they might work for you too:
    • What we’ll do to support you (the new school councillor)
    • What we need you to do
    • The documents attached (that will help you to understand your role and how our school and school council works)
    • Useful websites (or other sources of information)
  6. Now you’ve got to collect all that information together and work out whatever training, mentoring, etc. you have said you will provide.

Do you already have a school council welcome pack? What is in it or what would you put in it if you had one?


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