Pupils at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe have been voting for their own School Parliament as part of a new school initiative to involve more of the pupils in the life and decision-making processes of the school.
All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 were eligible to stand for election to the School Parliament. Candidates ran their own election campaign and their campaign pledges were on a display board. The rest of the year group then voted for their three favourite candidates who will duly sit on the School Parliament for that year. The three pupils from each year who received the most votes on the day were appointed MSPs, Member of School Parliament.
All the representatives ran the Election Day with the help of Manchester City Council who provided some very impressive official equipment such as booths, ballot boxes and ballot papers.
The purpose of the School Parliament is to give pupils a real voice within a manageable system and encourage students to take ownership and responsibility for their school. It will also enable staff to gain student perspective whilst at the same time raising awareness about democratic systems and rights in line with Citizenship education.
“The School Parliament represents the student voice at Saint Paul’s. We plan to meet monthly to discuss the various issues,” explained Ms Michelle Davies, Humanities teacher and organiser of the School Parliament. “The MSPs will wear a different tie to the rest of the pupils. The tie will have a gold stripe on it so pupils are aware who they are.”
Ms Davies added: “The School Parliament will be very important to the school, and as a result the parliament will be very much involved in school life.”
“The School Parliament will be an important consultative body within the school and will be taken seriously,” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s.”It gives the opportunity for students to put forward recommendations to the management, staff and governors of the school.”