Northern Ireland Assembly
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School Principals Asked to Respond to Questionnaire on School Councils

As part of its Inquiry into School Councils, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education is asking all school Principals to complete an online questionnaire to find out how many school councils there are, and gather views on their work and impact.

The Committee is also interested in hearing from schools that do not have school councils, to understand their reasons and learn about alternative forms of pupil participation they may be using. 

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA said: “The questionnaire, which should only take 5-10 minutes to complete, will provide us with useful and important information about school councils – how they operate and their contribution to school life. 

“School councils are very important because they raise awareness about democratic decision making by providing the first opportunity for young people to participate in democracy and influence the life of their school.

I would urge Principals to complete and submit the on-line questionnaire by Friday 20 January 2012 and assist the Committee in its work.”

Belfast Boys Model Principal, Mr Jim Keith, supporting the Committee’s Inquiry, said: “School Councils encourage greater pupil participation in the life of the school and provide opportunities to boost pupil confidence and sense of empowerment.  I would encourage schools to respond to the Committee’s questionnaire and take five minutes to help the Committee highlight the importance of the work being done by school councils.”

As part of the next stage of the Inquiry the Committee will identify a small number of ‘case study’ schools to take part in focussed discussion groups.

Notes to Editors:

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education launched its inquiry into Schools Councils on Wednesday 19th October 2011.

The aim of the Inquiry is to champion and celebrate the work of School Councils in Northern Ireland. It will examine the experience, operation and contribution of School Councils in Northern Ireland, with a view to identifying ways to support and enhance their work.

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Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Mervyn Storey MLA
Deputy Chairperson: David McNarry MLA
Michaela Boyle MLA
Jonathan Craig MLA
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA
Phil Flanagan MLA
Brenda Hale MLA
Trevor Lunn MLA
Conall McDevitt MLA
Michelle McIlveen MLA
Daithí McKay MLA

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