What does pupil voice mean to your school? 

What does pupil voice mean to your school? Almost every school has a school council or something similar, but they often used in really different ways. 

What does your school use its school council for? 

Consultation

Many schools use their school council as a group to consult on school decisions.  There's definitely value in pupils being consulted on these questions, but it can't only be this.

Consultation can be quite passive, so there needs to be ways for pupils to take ownership of some of the agenda. Can your pupils do this? 

School improvement

Is your school council a tool for school improvement? Again, it's a good idea for pupils to be involved in identifying issues or ways that the school can be improved.

We think it's great when pupils can go beyond the identification of issues for adults to solve, and actually get involved in helping to solve them!


Smart School Councils is a charity based in London that helps young people to become active, democractic citzens.

We work with 360 schools to give them an easy way to engage every pupil in their school council.


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Ofsted

Ofsted is clearly a factor in this discussion. They want to see how your pupils are having a voice in the leadership of the school, and how your school council contributes to pupils' personal development. There's also the British Values agenda to meet. 

It's great to think beyond this though - what other roles would you like to be getting your school council involved in? 

Fundraising

Fundraising is fantastic, and it helps teach a really useful set of skills to pupils. But is your school council only involved in fundraising? It might be time to try and broaden the agenda.  

Citizenship

As you might have guessed, helping all pupils to develop skills to become active, democratic citizens is our real passion.

Alongside other fantastic organisations like ACT, Young Citizens, iWill and We Day, we believe in giving young people the tools to lead discussions and participate in social action. 

So have a think about how  your school uses your school council, and make sure you check out all the fantastic organisations linked to above.