Student Representation at The Corsham School
Written by the Managing Director of the Corsham6th Leaders
The Corsham School no longer has a democratically elected school council - made up of tutor representatives and student councillors. Last academic year, the system was changed so that there are now only Corsham6th Leaders
The Corsham6th Leaders are specialised into five councils - Community, Broadcasting & Publishing, Charity & Fundraising, Events, and Digital - on which are students from each year group plus one or two Corsham6th Leaders who set the direction and oversee all projects. The names of each council are quite self-explanatory, however I will outline the role of one to provide some context.
The Student Leaders also have the responsibility of passing on their own and other students' concerns, feedback and praise to their Corsham6th Leader or to one of the two Directors of Corsham6th. These Directors regularly join and contribute to the school's Leadership Group meetings so Leadership Group are aware of students' thoughts and vice-versa.
The process for appointing Student Leaders is as follows:
1. All Corsham6th students are given the opportunity to apply for a role of their choice. Interested students then have an interview with members of the Leadership Group which includes a 5-10 minute speech on why they'd suit the position they applied for, and a traditional interview questioning.
2. Corsham6th Leaders are appointed based on interviews.
3. Corsham6th Leaders give an assembly to each year group introducing themselves and informing students of how they can get involved.
4. Students then apply to be in their council of choice.
5. All students who have applied are appointed as Student Leaders.
Last year (the first year of the new system) saw 18 students apply. This year, there were 203 applications. This is testimony to the fact that students feel engaged and heard at The Corsham School, so believe (and know) they can make a difference.
Previously, the School Council met regularly and discussed issues but were not able to make much of an impact besides solving minor concerns. Since the new system of Corsham6th Leaders has been in place, projects with Corsham Churches Food Bank have been set up, students were able to take a heavily subsided tour of Parliament, a student magazine has been set up and an MP has agreed to come to the school for a tour and Q&A with students - all led by students with support, but not intervention, from members of staff.
The Corsham6th Leaders are the culmination of the school's emphasis on independence of thought and on student-centred educational provision. As a student who has felt more listened to since the system change, I would recommend this approach to student representation.