Pupil Leadership

What is pupil leadership and why is it important?

"Pupil leadership" is the practice of empowering pupils to take on leadership roles and responsibilities within school. Pupil leadership is rooted in the belief that pupils can play an active and meaningful role in shaping their educational environment, contributing to decision-making processes, and positively influencing the school community.

There are various forms of pupil leadership, such as student councils, peer mentoring programs, or involvement in school clubs and activities. The idea is to provide pupils with opportunities to develop leadership skills, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork abilities.

Importance of Pupil Leadership:

  1. Empowerment: Pupil leadership empowers children by giving them a voice and a sense of agency in decisions that affect them. This empowerment contributes to increased confidence and self-esteem.

  2. Skill Development: Participation in leadership roles allows children to develop a wide range of skills, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and teamwork. These skills are valuable not only in school but also in future endeavours.

  3. Student Engagement: Pupil leadership programs can enhance pupil engagement and enthusiasm for learning. When children feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their school environment, they are more likely to be actively involved and invested in their education.

  4. Community Building: Pupil leaders play a crucial role in building a positive and inclusive school culture. They can organise events, promote diversity, and foster a sense of community among their peers.

  5. Preparation for Future Leadership: Developing leadership skills early on can prepare students for future leadership roles in various aspects of their lives, including further and higher education, career, and community involvement.

  6. Positive Role Modelling: Pupil leaders can serve as positive role models for their peers. Observing responsible and ethical leadership behaviours can have a positive impact on the overall behaviour and attitudes of other children.

  7. Feedback Mechanism: Pupil leaders can serve as a valuable feedback mechanism between children and staff. They can bring forward concerns, ideas, and suggestions, contributing to a more responsive and pupil-cantered educational environment.

Our Pupil Leadership Bodies

Faith Council 

Members of the team represent their peers in issues connected to RE, prayer, collective worship, church services and spirituality. Our 'Faith Council' is made up of one child from each year group and is led by Mrs V Devi. They hold weekly Faith Team meetings where they plan activities and future projects, including preparing for their half-termly pupil-led assembly.  

Our strong Faith Council is a means of developing a deeper understanding of our school vision and values within our community and allows a way of experiencing spirituality as a genuine partnership between staff, children and the community.

Young Peoples Parliament 

Handsworth Young People’s Parliament is an initiative for children from 28 local schools which aims to help local students learn more about democracy and citizenship. 

Pupils are elected to the YPP by peers and they are responsible for organising socially impactful activities. 

YPP encourages pupils to become active citizens within their local communities by enabling their opinions on important issues to be heard. We believe initiatives such as this are a key part in engaging our children with matters related to Handsworth, encouraging their development and giving them a way to feel that they can engage and be involved in the political world.

Each year, members of the St. Michael's YPP visit the Birmingham Council House, interview their local MP and even visit the Houses of Parliament in London. 

School Council 

Our school council is a formal group of pupils who act as representatives of their classmates in discussing school issues with the headteacher and staff. It is a brilliant way of representing and contributing to Pupil Voice in St. Michael's. Students are elected to represent the views of all pupils and also to improve their school. Our School Council help to make decisions about how the school is run and take on projects that support the children’s learning and development, such as organising charity events, representing the school at outside events or ensuring the school is environmentally friendly. School councils are elected annually by the other children.

Eco Council 

The Eco-Council is pupil-led and consists of children from across the school. These pupils play key roles in decision-making and participate in reducing the environmental impact of the school.

The Eco-Council representatives are dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who work hard to improve and develop the school for the better. The Eco-Council meets regularly to discuss environmental issues and the changes the council would like to see made around the school. 

The Eco-Council is responsible for the upkeep of the school allotment during the spring and summer months, cultivating produce to be distributed via the St. Michael's Food Cupboard. 

Peer Mediators 

Peer mediation is a process where those involved in a disagreement volunteer to discuss the issues and explore how best to take matters forward. It requires them to operate within a whole school ethos, which is itself restorative.

Children and young people can be more comfortable talking to someone their own age who understands their concerns and their perspective. Pupils learn to listen to others’ points of view and to accept differences.

Pupils are trained to act as mediators in a dispute without help from teachers. This empowers children and develops their sense of community and co-operation. Peer mediators are available on the playground during lunch periods and their presence helps the playground become more peaceful. 

House Captains

At the end of their time in Year 5, all pupils must apply to become House Captains when they're in Year 6. Their applications are scrutinised by senior leaders, with the best applicants shortlisted for interview. 

Those successfully appointed to the role lead one of the four St. Michael's houses - Christ's, Trinity, Emmanuel and Magdalene (University of Cambridge Colleges). 

House Captains need to be a good role model for their peers and be a member of the school who other pupils feel they respect, trust and talk to. A key role is one of responsibility that requires House Captains to be dedicated, organised and to set a positive example to all children throughout our school.