Budehaven is a listening school. Through our well-established student voice structures, we aim to uphold the co-operative principles that are so important to our ethos:
The Co-operative Principles
Self-help: our students make regular contributions to evaluations of teaching and learning
Self-responsibility: we encourage student groups to suggest solutions to the problems they identify
Democracy: we actively teach associated concepts e.g. representation, and our student representatives are elected
Equality: we always involve our students in the appointment of new teachers
Equity: we consult with student representatives on issues of fairness, such as the application of our rewards policy
Solidarity: we encourage students to be part of ‘something bigger’ through our student voice structures
- Social responsibility
- Caring for others
Our students are regularly engaged in self-directed, charitable fund-raising activities.
In 2014, our Year 9 students identified for us where our co-operative values can be seen around school. We have committed their affirmations of our co-operative values to a ‘blue plaques’ scheme, much like the heritage scheme seen in London. As students move around the school premises, they are reminded of our values and how we express them. In 2015, each department area will adopt a co-operative value and additional blue plaques will go on display around school.
Student Voice Structures
At the start of the academic year, each tutor group selects two representatives. These reps attend Year Council meetings with their CoLPWB. They take issues raised by tutor groups to the Year Council meeting, and feedback on actions agreed.
Year Councils discuss pressing issues affecting their year groups, offering their views for instance on the option process in Year 8, or arrangements for leavers in Year 11. Much of their work is charitable.
Each year group from years 7 to 11 will send two elected representatives to the Student Parliament. Each member of parliament will serve for 2 years, as we feel that this is a reasonable period of time to make a difference and see a project through to completion and then be able to evaluate its impact. Any student from years 7-11 can stand in the Student Parliament elections by submitting an anonymous manifesto. The agenda for Student Parliament meetings is responsive to the concerns of students. Our Student Parliament members interview a random selection of their peers each week. Feedback is passed on to the relevant member of staff, or team. Issued raised are also discussed at parliament meetings. The Student Parliament is focused on matters of school improvement and is always consulted before a big decision is taken. Increasingly, the Student Parliament is playing a leading role in ensuring that students are consulted widely e.g. through surveys, on matters affecting them.
Sixth Form Committee
The Sixth Form Committee has been a long standing feature of student voice post-16. In the Summer Term, elections are held for the post of Sixth Form President, and Sixth Form Vice President. These are high profile and demanding roles. Once in office, the Sixth Form President convenes the wider committee. Membership of the committee is on a voluntary basis and meetings with teachers, relevant support staff, members of the senior leadership team, and/or governors are convened as matters arise throughout the school year. The Sixth Form President is currently Danni Ditson.
This year, it is the intention of the Sixth Form Committee to invite two student voice representatives from each of our feeder primary schools to a consultation on our transition and induction process. This will take place in January of 2015.