Student Councils That Work: Reviewing and Improving Student Voice in NI Schools

The Report on the School Councils Inquiry by the NI Committee for Education (Committee for Education Report – Report on the School Councils Inquiry ( defines a student/school council as a ‘formal group of pupils within a school who are elected by their peers to represent them and their views.’ The report notes that ‘the aim of the Committee’s inquiry is to champion and celebrate School Councils in Northern Ireland… with a view to identifying ways to support and enhance their work.’ It was published on 20 June 2012. SSUNI recognises and celebrates all those throughout the education sector in Northern Ireland who have dedicated themselves to promoting the rights of children and young people, particularly in ensuring the views of students are heard and taken into account in decision-making. However, the students of Northern Ireland feel that Student Councils are still not effective in their role, and that little has been done to solve this major issue. For this reason, SSUNI has written this response to bring to attention the untapped potential of student councils in Northern Ireland and propose a solution.