School Parliament

Why do we have a School Parliament?


The School Parliament is an ideal opportunity for pupils to get more involved in the way the school is run. The School Parliament benefits the whole school, pupils and teachers because it provides opportunities for pupils to communicate their feelings as well as influence decisions that are made. Councillors develop skills such as confidence, communication and negotiation.  It is the responsibility of each Councillor to ensure that they express both their own views and the views of all the other pupils they represent.

 


Who can be a member of the School Parliament?

We have an active School Parliament with a boy and girl representing their fellow pupils from each class from Years 2 to 6.  Nursery, Reception and Year 1 pupils are represented by Year 6 School Parliament members.

At the start of each academic year, as a school we build upon our assembly learning about democracy to elect school parliament members.  Each School Parliament member is elected by their classmates after a short presentation explaining why they should be elected. These individual members are then able to present their ‘manifesto speech’ (what they would like to change about the school should they be elected as a senior member of parliament) to the whole-school.  A secret ballot is used for pupils to vote for their Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer school representatives.

What do we do?
Members of the School Parliament take part in discussions and votes and also feedback any relevant information to their class. At times they are requested to ask their class for ideas or take class votes relating to discussions by the Council. Members meet regularly with the Head Teacher, Mrs. Prentice.

What have we done so far?
The School Parliament has been very active.  Some of the most successful projects include:

  • Raising £203 for the purchase of new playground equipment by hosting a cake sale and running themed mufti-days;

  • Developing a definition for ‘bullying’ as part of the school’s statutory ‘Anti-Bullying Policy;’

  • Raising £36.00 through the sale of Anti-Bullying Calendars, produced by the children;

  • Introduction of school discos;

  • Participation in the national ‘Lights, Camera, Parliament Award’ which challenges School Councils from England to make a video about a new law that should be introduced to the Houses of Parliament.  For our entry to the competition, The Langney School Council are in the process of making a video about their idea that it should be made compulory that all buses have seatbelts.  Winners of this competition will be invited to The Houses of Parliament for a behind the scenes tour and the chance to discuss their winning law with Members of Parliament.

  • Participation in the ‘2014 Speaker’s School Council Award’ which is a competition open to all School Councils and awards are given for projects, big or small, that have a positive impact on the school community.  Winners will attend an awards ceremony in the grand Speaker’s Apartments and every School Council that enters will receive a prestigious certificate from the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Langney School Parliament have decided their entry would focus on tackling the issue of car parking and congestion outside the front of the school both before and after school.  So far they have visited the Eastbourne Town Hall to make their voices heard by presenting their concerns to Councillors and as a result, Councillors have made subsequent visits to the school to address the issues raised.

  • Writing letters to persuade School Governors that Langney Primary School needs a mini-bus.

  • Consultation led by School Parliament members on the school’s core values.  Parent, pupil and staff surveys were conducted resulting in 5 agreed shared values:  positivity, aspiration, appreciation, mutual respect and forgiveness.

  • School Parliament held a whole-school poster design completion in order to showcase our new school values.  These posters are now on display in all areas of the school as a reminder to everyone the values that guide our behaviour and interactions with each other.

  • President and Vice-President of the School Parliament are members of the school’s E-Safety Committee, which meets on a termly basis to support the development of E-Safety in school.

  • President and Vice President of the School Parliament have presented to external auditors for successful accreditation in our recently gained ICT Mark and E-Safety Awards.

 

To reward the additional hard work of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer the children visit the Houses of Parliament in London each year for a personalised tour.  It wouldn’t be surprising if these active participants entered a career in politics one day!