Glyn Student Parliament
Why do we have a Student Parliament, not a Student Council?
What does our Parliament hope to achieve?
How successful has the Parliament been?
We wanted to develop a more high profile and influential style of Student Voice, so at the start of 2014 we made plans to form a School Parliament. The parliament would be set out in 'constituencies' and MGPs (Members of Glyn Parliament) would represent the respective areas of Subjects, Year Groups, Houses, 6th Form, parents, governors and staff. There were whole school elections and applications for roles. This was all very successful, and the Parliament consists of over 30 students, teachers, parents, governors and learning support assistants - we felt that this made sure the Parliament was inclusive of the entire Glyn community. Now every subject in the school has an MGP, as does every year group and every house. The Sixth Form also have MGPs - the Head Boy and Head Girl take on the role of Prime Ministers. Once every term, the PMs report back to the School Leadership team.
We wanted to go beyond a simple Student Voice and have a Parliament that was reflective of the entire school community, so we really made an effort to include not just students and teachers, but also governors, parents and support staff. We also wanted to make sure that every one of the students in school engaged with a democratic process that would they would experience as adults.
At the first Parliament Session we created the following mission Statement:
- To make sure that our school is a safe and happy place for all students.
- To make sure that all students have a place to articulate and express their concerns.
- To encourage all students in school to suggest improvements and areas for development.
- To make sure any suggestions or concerns are listened to and acted upon.
- To build good relationships between the school and our local community.
We immediately set up an email address for people to contact, so anyone could contact their MGP. Then, all of the ideas and emails we received would be discussed at the Parliament Sessions. Our Prime Ministers (The Head Boy and Head Girl), would then take all of this feedback, once every term to the School Leadership meetings.
The parliament has been very successful. The students at school regularly contact the parliament and feel free to express their views on things. We have run litter campaigns, and set up 'monthly themes', where national and international events are displayed around the school and activities are used in form times. We have even set up a 'foodies group' where students feedback on food in the canteen! We know we are successful because all of the school has really invested into the Parliament. MGPs are all recognisable across the school (we wear blue MGP badges), and we are looking to grow even bigger next year. The MGPs represent the school brilliantly and the leadership team listen carefully to all the suggestions and make changes that make a difference.