Boothferry Primary School (case study)

The school has a very active school council and pupil consultation and participation is valued in the management of the school.

Pupils at Boothferry Primary School in the East Riding of Yorkshire are able to have a say in their education through their primary school council. The school, which serves a socially and economically disadvantaged area (Ofsted 2005), has a very active school council and pupil consultation and participation is valued in the management of the school. This is seen as having benefits for the school as well as the emotional health and wellbeing of all pupils. 

How does it work?

Representatives of each class in the primary school form the school council who meet once a fortnight. Class representatives gather the ideas for improvements to school from their peers and report back during circle time. Circle time is held every Friday afternoon, a dedicated space for pupils, they know that they can be heard during this time, and most of all that it is their time, even to the extent that “Do not disturb - circle time in progress!” signs are pinned to the classroom doors.

What have they achieved?

The school council has been particularly involved in improvements to the school environment, both through planting trees and through playground development. The playground development was paid for by the profits of the Fruit Tuckshop, as such pupils saw it as their money, and were committed to spending it on their playground. After consultation with all classes the school council invested their profits in building a wooden wall to divide the playground and partition a ball games area. They also made a small alcove for other games and bought smaller play equipment such as cars, cards, dolls and dinosaurs. They are soon to decide whether to use some external money on an outdoor classroom or some large play equipment. This work on pupil involvement on developing the playground has paid off, Recently the school council won an award for £650 for reaching the final of the authorities anti-bullying award. The award was for ‘promoting anti-bullying through pupil participation'.

Pupil involvement in the running of the school has extended to them having a say in school rules. The school council has recently negotiated with senior management on the schools “scoobie” policy. Originally the toy had been banned, the council managed to negotiate so that they are allowed to play with them in lunches and break times.

Benefits of participation at Boothferry

1. Pupils have improved the school environment
2. Pupils have won money and recognition for the school.
3. Pupils are well behaved, have high self esteem and a sense of pride in their school
4. In a recent inspection Ofsted said that the school council was an outstanding feature' giving 'the pupils a voice in making important decisions regarding their safety, welfare and pastoral care.’

This case study has been archived from Participation for Schools website on 26.06.06. You can find out more in the education topic area.

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