The Education Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of Student Councils to provide a representative structure for students to contribute to the school community.
Section 27 of the Education Act, 1998 says that Boards of Management shall encourage and give all reasonable assistance to students in the setting up and running of student councils in second level schools.
Guidelines on Student Councils
Guidelines on Student Councils: A Voice for Students were issued to all schools by the Department of Education and Science in Spring, 2002.
The role of the Student Council is to:
- Enhance communication between students, management, staff and parents
- Promote an environment conducive to educational and personal development
- Promote friendship and respect among students
- Support management and staff in the development of the school
Represent the views of students on matters of concern to them
Section 8 of the Guidelines state that:
“It is not the function of the Student Council to discuss or comment on matters relating to the employment or professional affairs of the Principal, teachers and other staff of the school, or to become involved in any issues that fall within their professional competence”.
Student Council Working Group
The National Children's Strategy says that children and young people will have a voice in matters that affect their lives and be provided with opportunities to participate in decision-making. This Strategy is government policy and the National Children’s Office was charged with assisting the work of a Working Group on Student Councils established in 2003. The purpose of this Working Group is to promote the establishment of Student Councils in second level schools, which facilitate the involvement of students in the operation of the school. The ASTI was represented on the Group by the Assistant General Secretary/Education and Research. See www.studentcouncil.ie for further information.