Here at Lordswood Girls’ School, we take student voice incredibly seriously and believe that all students should have the right and opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on every aspect of school life. One of the main ways in which students can have a voice in school is through the School Council, a group which strives to improve everyone’s experiences of life at Lordswood.
The School Council is made up of Council Representatives, or Reps for short, who are elected every Autumn Term in review group elections. All students are given the chance to apply for a place on the Council, their peers then elect one Rep from each form group to form the 30 student strong Council. Once formed, the School Council is broken down into Year Group Councils which are each responsible for addressing issues that arise concerning their specific year group. The Year Group Councils also work together to address issues on a whole school basis and try to tackle problems that affect the School as a whole. In the past, the School Council has addressed areas such as lunch times, canteen menus, outside facilities and recycling.
The School Council also arranges regular ‘Question Time’ sessions during which students are given the opportunity to grill the Headteacher Mrs Götschel and her panel of staff on any topic relating to life at Lordswood. Issues raised at these events are regularly discussed at Senior Leadership meetings and it is seen as a no-holds-barred chance to quiz the Headteacher!
Should a student wish to get in touch with the School Council, they should approach their review group Rep who will relay their message to the Council. Students can also contact Mrs Riley who is the Coordinator for the School Council and is based in GA11.
Due to Covid restrictions, the School Council for 2020-2021 looks a little different. Last year’s Reps have been invited to stay on for another year being as their tenure was cut short, and, due to some review groups being reorganised in September, any students who wished to be a Rep this year have also joined the Council. This means that every review group is now represented.
Covid measures also mean that physical meetings are not able to go ahead this year. Instead, a document will be circulated each term which Council Reps will fill in with issues reported to them by their peers. This document will then be reviewed by staff and responses to issues added. The cycle will be complete when Reps use the document to feedback to their review group. This process will be repeated once a term and should ensure that all students still have a voice within the school.
Question Time sessions will also look very different this year. Instead of the usual Q & A meetings held for each year group every two weeks, one virtual session will take place every half term for all year groups together. Students will submit their questions as usual and staff will select the questions to be put to the Headteacher and her panel in the normal way. To respond to the questions asked, Mrs Götschel will record a video response which can be played for students during registration periods.
During these challenging times, student voice is more important than ever and so we hope that even these scaled back activities will ensure that students at Lordswood Girls’ School will have an input into school life.