Reading and Camden launch school council awards scheme

Reading and Camden school students help Speaker launch school council awards scheme

Students from Little Heath School in Reading and Brecknock Primary School in Camden joined the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow to launch a groundbreaking new initiative.

The Speaker’s School Council Awards Scheme, which will be run by Parliament’s Education Service, is designed to boost interest among students in democratic values.

It will recognise the achievements of school councils, particularly where they have made a difference to a school or local community or to the environment. Students from the schools spoke at the launch event at the House of Commons.

The pupils from Brecknock Primary School talked about the rules they had developed for playing in the playground and secondary and 6th form students from Little Heath School discussed how they have developed a student conference to encourage pupil voice and input into the development of their school.

They also took part in a promotional film for the awards which can be accessed via YouTube.

Speaker Bercow has sent out a letter to every head teacher in the UK informing them of the new awards scheme with details of how to sign up.

School councils and their coordinators can then register for the initiative nominating their most effective, engaging and ambitious project.

A carefully selected panel of experts will judge the shortlisted finalists who will then be invited to an award ceremony at the House of Commons presided over by the Speaker where the winners of the four categories, infant, primary, secondary and sixth form will be announced.

Speaker Bercow said: "It is clear to me that young people often first experience democratic values and practices through their school councils. As Speaker of the House of Commons, the institution sits at the heart of our democracy. I want to acknowledge this link by recognising and rewarding the achievements of school councils."

Further information

For media enquiries please contact: Laura Kibby tel: 0207 219 0718 e-mail: kibbyl@parliament.uk

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow was elected on June 22 2009.

Parliament’s Education Service works with schools and Members of both Houses of Parliament to support young people in developing their understanding of Parliament and democracy.

Its services are free and have been designed to support the political literacy and citizenship education requirements of the national curricula in the United Kingdom.