RNS recognises the vital role of student leadership in developing the life of the Community as well as giving all students the opportunity to fully develop this aspect of their lives. Student leadership provides an opportunity for students to actively participate in the decision- making processes at the schools. Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles in an endeavour to increase their own leadership skills, act as effective role models for the student body and offer responsible service to their school and peers.
- Effective school councils should engender peer leadership, openness and awareness.
- Students involved with the council should develop essential life skills, such as listening, diplomacy, compromise and communication.
- Student councils should make a positive contribution to every aspect of a school community. They should improve academic performance, reduce bullying and and improve teacher-pupil relations.
The Student Council works hand in hand with the staff as one team .Students from Grades 6 – 12 are organized to form a student council. They operate under a constitution. At least one senior management member sponsors the group. Riyadh Najed Schools Student Council is an elected body of students dedicated to ensuring the advancement of student aspirations at the school.
This student organization promotes leadership and fund-raising skills. Projects and activities will be conducted throughout the year, giving council members experience in these skills. At the same time these activities contribute to the benefit of the school morale and finance.
Student Council members are elected during the first quarter by their peers and consist of one student per class grouping. Students should be careful and selective in electing officers and representatives who will fulfill their duties and not vote for particular candidates just because they are popular.
Through the Student Council, students are involved in activities appropriate for their age group. The Board acknowledges the valuable contribution that students can make to the effectiveness of their school and considers their meaningful involvement in the operation of the school to be a valuable part of their education process. A financial grant is made available to the Student Council by the Board of Management in September each year to help cover its expenses.
The general objectives of the Student Council are:
- To enhance communication between students, management, staff and parents.
- To promote an environment conducive to educational and personal development.
- To support the management and staff in the development of the school.
- To assist with policy development.
- To represent the views of students on matters of concern to them.
The Aim of the Student Council:
The aim of the Student Council is to work in partnership with the Board of Management, staff and parents for the benefit of the whole school community. The Student Council seeks to build a relationship based on mutual respect and trust with all in the school and supports the staff, management and parents in their efforts to create and maintain an environment conductive to educational and personal development. As part of the process, the Student Council seeks to provide a line of communication between students, management, staff and parents.
Role of the Student Council:
- To create in cooperation with the Principal, staff and students, a better school life for the student of our school.
- To provide students with opportunities of leadership and to develop in all students a sense of responsibility.
- To encourage the students in the school to become more aware of how the school is run and to constructively identify and express their needs.
- To contribute to overall school development by being involved in school policy development and to be a resource in working in partnership with the management of the school.
- To act as liaison where appropriate between the students and the teaching staff and management.
- To represent the views of the student body to the Board of Management, Principal, teachers and parents.
- To organize and effective communication system e.g. newsletter.
- Assist with mentoring / induction of new students.
- Assist in improving school activities: sporting, cultural, liturgical, extra-curricular.
- Organize or assist with fund-raising / charitable work.
- Liaise with student councils from other schools.
- Satisfying student’s needs and wishes.
- Developing relations with other schools.
Membership and Structure of the Student Council:
All students attending our school are deemed to be eligible to be members of the Student Council. All students in each class or year group having a representative on the Student Council should be entitled to stand for election to the Council. The council will consist of one democratically elected representative of each class.
- Elections will be democratic and by secret ballot.
- Only the students will vote in Student Council elections.
- Each student will have only one vote.
- Student will be invited to put their names forward for election.
- To run for the council, a student must be proposed and seconded by members of their class or year as appropriate.
- If there is more than one candidate going forward an election will be held.
- Ballot papers will be produced.
- The votes will be counted by a nominated teacher/s and kept for verification.
- Existing representatives of the council in early September will go to classes to inform students about the elections.
- The process begins with the nomination procedure.All interested pupils must fill in a nomination form, being proposed by 2 of their year group.
- Announcement of election dates will be made over the intercom at least 1 week in advance.
- Interested students put forward for election by giving their name to their class tutor.
- Tutors will then give the names to the liaison teacher or existing council members.
- A list of all those interested will be drawn up by the existing council members.
- Students will then be asked to vote for 1 student from the list to represent their year group on the council.
- The liaison teacher and at least 1 council member will then count the votes.
- It is the intention of the Student Council to begin elections as early as possible in the school year generally aiming for some day in the second or third full week.
- Election results are displayed around the school.
- Liaison Teacher must keep the voting papers.
- If a member leaves for any reason voting papers will be used to decide the next closest for council seat depending on their own level of interest and suitability as judged by the council.
- All members agreeing to terms of office must sign the contract.
- First Year elections will take place in mid to late October.
- No member may serve longer than 2 consecutive years, but after this may be eligible for re-election.
- Training for all council members will take place in September.
Term of Office
Each member will serve for one academic year, from the date of election until the following June.
Student Council Officers
The Student Council will appoint a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, a Treasurer and 2 Public Relations Officers. After the council has been formed, the entire council must elect the following officers:.
- Deputy Chairperson
- Public Relations Officer
- These positions will be filled by a democratic secret ballot.
- The positions of PRO and Treasurer may be held jointly
- The chairperson will run the meeting, adhere to the agenda and direct all comments through the chair.The Chairperson will endeavor to ensure that all council members have the chance to express their views.
- The Vice Chairperson will act in the absence of the Chairperson or Secretary.
- The Secretary will record the minutes in a designated minute book.
- The Treasurer will manage Student Council funds and report on financial affairs to a meeting.
- The PRO will publicize Student Council activities, issue press releases, maintain the Student Council notice-board and make relevant intercom announcements.
- All members will report back to their classes on matters discussed at meetings and bring issues raised by their classmates at meetings.
Meetings and Decision-Making
The Student Council will meet at least once a month during the academic year. Meetings can also be called by the chairperson or by three or more members of the council as often as is necessary. All council members must be given at least one week notice of a meeting. A student Council Liaison Officer will usually be present at all meetings. The teacher will assist in the smooth running of the meeting. For any major decision to be voted on or agreed, at least two thirds of the council must be present at the meeting.
The quorum of a workable meeting shall be four council members.
When making a decision any member of the council may call for a vote to be held and when the votes are divided evenly, the Chairperson has the casting vote.
- Be chaired by elected chairperson or deputy chairperson.
- Minutes to be taken by secretary and meetings to be notified by the secretary.
- Meetings should be held once a month at least.
- Must have a minimum of 4 members for a meeting to take place.
- Meetings are pre-decided day and time to suit Student Council and Liaison Teacher.
- Voting of officers happens at the first meeting, elected by members.Officers are not specific to senior students however, the Chairperson must be a senior officer.
- The Chairperson and the Secretary should draw up the agenda prior to the meeting.Additions from student Council members or any teacher should be given before the meeting.
- All members will report back to their classes on matters discussed at meetings and bring issues raised by their classmates at meetings.
- Decisions are taken on majority vote.
- The Chairperson has the casting vote.
- All issues discussed must be treated with discretion and confidentiality.
- Minutes are accurate and do not reflect names.
Amendments to the Constitution
A vote must be held regarding any amendments to this constitution. Proposed amendments must be circulated to all members of the council at least one week in advance of the vote. At least two thirds of the council must be present for the vote. Any amendments to the constitution must be discussed in advance with the board of Management. All amendments to the constitution must be approved by a two-thirds majority of members present at the meeting.
- Attends Student Council meeting.
- Acts as a link between staff members and the council.
- Has a voice but not a vote.
- Is a source of information.
- Can take notes to complement the secretary’s minutes.
- To be a support to the council when needed and to be active when called upon.
- To inform all members of relevant information (training etc.).
- To put student council issues / activities on the agenda for staff meetings.
- In the event of difficulties with the Student Council and Liaison Teacher the Principal is to be contacted.
Contract of Behaviour
All members of the council once elected must sign a Members Contract once it has been reviewed and amended where appropriate.
Code of Conduct
- Attend weekly meetings.
- To be actively involved in student council activities.
- To set a good example to others.
- To represent the year group.
- To stand as a group and support decision made by the student council.
- To maintain good relations with staff members.
- Upon election, council members sign a contract, in which they agree to attend weekly meetings, represent their year group, support their fellow-council members and abide by the school rules.
Attendance / Discipline and Removal of Student Council Members
- If contract or code of conduct is broken (appeal may be heard).
- Non attendance at 3 consecutive meetings without a valid reason (no appeal).
- Regular non-involvement in Student Council activities.
- If a pupil leaves the school.
- If the student is not committees to the work or the aims of the student council.
- If a pupil is suspended (appeal).
- If the Student Council issues a warning (1 chance).
- A second suspension results in removal from student council.
- Breach of council’s code of conduct.
- If a member acts inappropriately in a meeting or uses their council membership inappropriately.
- If a pupil is suspended from school, the liaison teacher issues a warning.
Removal Process and Procedures
- In order for procedures to be started, the liaison teacher or Chairperson must receive 3 complaints from individual council members. (If complaint is about the Chairperson it goes to the Liaison Teacher).
- Council issues warning or action if needed.
- Result of action is decided by council and is final.
- If there are further breaches, the council member is asked to resign.
- The council member has a right to appeal in front of the student council.
- The decision to remove the council member is voted on.
- The result is decided by a majority vote and is final.
- Replacement member will be selected if needed (time of year) from the same year so that all groups are represented.
The member must be given at least one week notice of the proposal and must be allowed to address the council in their defense. Where a member is to be removed a vote must be taken and at least two thirds of the council must be present. Vacancies in the council shall be filled by election. Casual vacancies may be filled by co-option.
Finance and Fundraising
An account has been opened in the name of the Student Council with the local bank. The Student Council Treasurer will keep an up-to-date and accurate account of all money raised by the council and will provide a report to the council at the last council meeting of the year. All expenses will be paid by cheque. The Student Council will consult and co-operate with the management when planning fund raising activities.
- All funds collected shall be used only to further the aims of the council.
- The Student Council shall contribute to presents for staff or students.
- The council will have the facilities to use software to record accounts in a proper manner.
- An Income and Expenditure Account must be submitted to the Board of Management by the end of June each year.
- The Board of Management will make a grant of 3000 SR available to the council each September.
The Student Council thus ensures that the school produces large numbers of outstanding students who are academically strong, morally sound, mentally sharp, and socially aware.