The School Rep Handbook 2012-13
Introduction Congratulations on becoming a School Rep! You have an exciting and privileged role here at college to influence change for the better! This handbook aims to help you understand your role, give you guidelines about your responsibilities and the resources to be able to fulfil the role. We want you to make the most of the experience of being a Rep in terms of personal development and achievement too! Hopefully this guide will give you all the information and explain how you can get the support you need in the role.
What is a School Rep? Class Rep A Class Rep represents class opinions, views, issues and ideas. They communicate these to their School Rep and feed back things to their group.
School Rep Each ‘School’ will have a School Rep which is a more senior role. A School Rep will have all of the existing responsibilities of the Class Rep, plus they will…
Keep in contact with all Class Reps in their School. Gather and take forward appropriate issues from the Class Reps in their School. Meet regularly with their Head of School. Attend Student Council meetings each half term. Attend Student Parliament meetings once each term.
What is the role of a School Rep? The key part of the role is to be the link between Class Reps and college managers. You will gather the thoughts, opinions, ideas, experiences and needs of Class Reps. You will then work with the right people to make changes! The role is likely to be different for each School as every group of students is different; but there are some basic responsibilities that every School Rep has. A School Rep will…
Understand the Rep system and structure. Know how to pass information between students and staff using the system. Regularly collect ideas, opinions, feedback and experiences from Class Reps. Feed back responses and information to Class Reps. Attend meetings with Heads of Schools. Attend Student Council and Student Parliament meetings and events. Attend The Rep Conference. Keep in touch with the Enrichment team if you have any questions or need any support. Try to know what is going on generally in college. Know how to signpost students to other college support services. Know how to find info about the Complaints, Compliments and Comments procedure.
A good School Rep is…
Enthusiastic. Committed. Approachable and friendly. Somebody with good communication skills. Somebody with good time management skills.
A Reminder! It is NOT your role or responsibility to deal with individual student welfare issues. You should simply signpost any students to the right support service at college or to Advice and Guidance staff who can help them. If in doubt just ask the Enrichment Team!
How do you benefit? You will gain new experiences and develop skills that will benefit you in further study or in the workplace.
Experiences – you will…
Be invited to take part in decision making processes, influencing discussions about teaching and learning and college life as a whole. Become more aware of how a big organisation works by attending meetings and meeting staff of all levels. Learn more about educational issues and how they affect students and their experiences of college. Be offered the opportunity to put yourself forward to take on more responsibility as part of the Student Parliament. Have the chance to network and get involved with the NUS and Liverpool Schools’ Parliament.
Skills – you will…
Learn new communication methods and skills. Gain confidence in your presentation skills. Improve your ability to multi task and prioritise your responsibilities and workload. Develop transferable skills that will enhance your CV/UCAS forms. Learn to negotiate effectively with a diverse range of people.
Remember! What you get out of it depends on what you put in to it. Make the most of the experience!
The Structure Here is college’s curriculum structure. This is how all of the different courses and subjects fit together and how they are organised into ‘Schools’. A School is group of courses that are related to each other.
And here is our Rep structure. It matches the curriculum structure so that your opinions, ideas and issues get through to the right people to make a difference.
The System Councils These will be made of School Reps from that curriculum area bringing together the experiences of students from that School. Councils will meet once each half term with their Assistant Principal discussing ideas and opinions given to them by their Class Reps and then feed things back to their groups through Class Reps. Student Parliament This is a meeting of all four Student Councils together looking at whole College issues. The Parliament will meet once a term with Senior Managers to influence College decision making. They will also have their own budget to spend on improving studentsâ€™ experiences of college! The Rep Conference This is a big event once a year. All Reps from every college centre are invited to attend giving everybody an opportunity to express and discuss life at College. They will be organised by the Student Parliament and attended by College managers and Governors too!
How do I communicate with Class Reps? Communication is key to the Class Rep role. There are many ways that you could do this effectively with the Class Reps in your area, but here are some suggestions that you could use. Itâ€™s best to use a variety of ways and mix it up a bit! Why not ask your Class Reps which ways would work best for them? Group Meetings Ask the Enrichment Team to help you book a space where you can have a weekly or monthly session to ask your Class Reps questions, give them chance to share ideas and opinions from their classes and for you to feed back any information that needs communicating back to them. One-to-One consultation Speak to people from your group independently to get feedback about their experiences. Suggestion Box Put one in your college building as a way for students to give anonymous feedback.
Email Use your college email address so that Class Reps can send ideas and feedback in writing directly to you. You could send updates back to the whole group keeping them informed of changes. Remember to regularly check your emails though if you use this method! Social Networking and Online tools There are lots of different social networking sites out there. Ask which ones people use and if they’d be happy using it for communicating Class Rep information. Remember – not everybody will feel comfortable using this way to communicate with people who aren’t their close friends. And that’s fine, it’s not compulsory! There are also lots of free online tools out there for collecting votes and suggestions. The Enrichment Team are working on a ‘Digital Tool Kit’ for Class Reps that will give you guidance and training on which resources to use and the best way to use them. Watch this space… Blog Page Why not set up a blog page just for Class Rep stuff? You could link this in with other Reps across college too. There are lots of good, free blogging platforms out there. Just ask the Enrichment Team if you want any advice on setting one up.
Meetings Checklist Here’s a quick checklist that might be useful for you to look through before any meetings you have with staff or students.
Check that you have the correct date, time and place. Arrive on time, or even early! If you can’t attend, arrange for somebody else to go on your behalf and let staff know. Be prepared for the meeting by reading any info you may have been sent. This may be an agenda, reports, or minutes from previous meetings. Bring notes of any opinions, ideas or issues that your group would like you to bring up. We will help you write these up in a good format. Makes notes of any information you need to feed back to your group. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything that is being discussed!
Jargon Buster Agenda
This is a list of items to be discussed at a meeting. This is sent before a meeting so that people know what will be discussed.
These are a record of what was said at a meeting.
This is the person who takes the lead in a meeting. It’s their job to guide everybody through the agenda.
This is a list of people who have said they are not able to come to a meeting. It’s polite to let the chair know before the meeting if you can’t make it.
This stands for ‘Any Other Business’. It’s normally at the end of a meeting and gives people a chance to discuss things that might not be listed on the agenda.
Key dates for your diary Council meetings for School Reps will take place during…
Week beginning 11th March 2013
Week beginning 15th April 2013
Week beginning 3rd June 2013
The locations for these meetings will be decided by your Assistant Principals.
Student Parliament meetings will take place on theâ€Ś 27th Feb 2012, 4-6pm at The Learning Exchange, in the Enrichment room. 1st May 2013, 4-6pm at The Learning Exchange, in the Enrichment room.
The Rep conference will be on theâ€Ś 27th March 2013. The location and times will be announced nearer the time.
Signposting - Useful Links Here at college we aim to give students all the support they need to enjoy their time here and achieve their goals to progress. Here are some helpful links about some of the pastoral and practical support students can get at college. More information can be found in in your Student Handbook which you got during your induction. As a Class Rep you can use these links to signpost students to the right team to get the right support if they come to you with an issue. Enrichment Team The Enrichment Team provide a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for students to get involved in outside of their course. Get more from college! e: email@example.com t: 0151 252 3683 Room 1.50 at The Learning Exchange
Learning Mentors Learning Mentors are available to give students one-to-one support improving study skills, build confidence and help students achieve their learning goals. e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 0151 252 3795 Room 1.14 at The Learning Exchange
Counselling and Wellbeing Team Students can access free counselling whilst at college. Counsellors are available to talk, in confidence, about issues like relationships, bereavement, depression, anxiety, self-harm, abuse, sexuality, eating disorders, self-esteem, stress etc. e: email@example.com t: 0151 252 3777 Room 1.41 at The Learning Exchange Mental Health Support Any student who has any kind of mental health difficulty can receive support or advice to remove any barriers to learning they may have. e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 0151 252 3777 Room 1.41 at The Learning Exchange Student Financial Advice and Support For any questions about student finance issues and to ask about additional financial support emailâ€Ś e: email@example.com
Careers Advice and Guidance College has a team of experienced advisors to help you plan the next steps toward a career. They can help with university applications or when planning a move into employment. t: 0151 252 3000 Or students can drop in at The Learning Exchange, Bankfield Road or Vauxhall Road to speak to somebody or arrange a guidance interview.
Learning Support College has specialist people in place to provide support in the following areas: Learning difficulties or disabilities, dyslexia, sensory support, autism, Aspergerâ€™s Syndrome, ADHD and care support.
Complaints, Compliments and Comments At College we are keen to hear what students have to say - both the positive and the not so positive!
For us to improve it’s important that we hear about students’ experiences whilst you’re studying here. All courses and services are reviewed regularly and your comments will inform future planning.
If anybody has any positive experiences of being a student here they can let us know by filling in the Complaints/Compliments/Comments form and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or by handing it in to any reception, LRC or Advice and Guidance.
If a student is unhappy with an experience and would like to make a complaint we would encourage them to try to speak directly with the person involved first or speak to their course tutor to resolve it. But if, in the student’s opinion, the matter is not resolved at this stage then a complaint can be made using the procedure outlined below.
If for some reason a student feels unhappy about any aspect of their college experience and would like to make a complaint there are several ways they can do this: By filling in the Complaints/Compliments/Comments form and emailing it to email@example.com or handing it in to any college reception, LRC or Advice and Guidance. Or they can contact the Equality Manager on 0151 252 3041. If any help is needed with filling the form in you can ask at anybody at Advice and Guidance.
The ‘Complaints, Compliments and Comments’ form can be found on the student intranet under the ‘Information’ tab.
Safeguarding Information If a student is worried about something that may be happening in their life and feel they may be in danger of abuse or harm they can speak to their tutor who will contact college’s Safeguarding Team. Remember! If a student comes to you as a Rep asking if they can tell you something and if you will keep a secret you must tell them that you might not be able to keep it a secret. You cannot promise to keep it to yourself. If they do tell you something and you think that they, or someone else, may be in danger of abuse or harm you have to pass it on to a member of staff immediately. But then you mustn’t tell anybody else about it. The Safeguarding Team will be told and they will deal with it.
Equality and Diversity College is committed to promoting equality and diversity through everything it does – both in terms of the education and experience it delivers to students and also the environment we create for its staff. College believes that everyone matters equally, and that everyone – students and staff alike – have the opportunity to achieve. College is against all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. This section gives you a bit of information about what the law says about Equality and Diversity and how it is protected.
The Legal Bit! The Equality Act is a law that came into force in October 2010 replacing over 100 different pieces of equality legislation. It protects people from discrimination and harassment based on ‘protected characteristics’. These ‘protected characteristics’ are…
Age Disability/learning difficulties Gender reassignment Race Religion or belief Sex Sexual orientation Pregnancy and Maternity Marriage and Civil Partnership
Different types of Discrimination The Equality Act 2010 describes different types of discrimination including some of the examples below. Direct Discrimination Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another on the grounds of any of their protected characteristics. An example might be if… College advertises for places on a new mechanical engineering course but these places are only open to male students. Indirect discrimination Indirect discrimination is when there is a rule, policy or practice that is put into place which applies to everyone, but it actually has a worse effect on some people more than others. An example might be if… College decides that all students must not wear anything on their head then this would indirectly discriminate because of religion or belief as it affects turban-wearing Sikh students. Harassment Harassment is unwanted behaviour or attitudes that have the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. An example might be if… One student makes jokes about what another student wears to college.
Victimisation Victimisation occurs when a person is treated badly because they have made, supported or raised a complaint under the Equality Act; or because they are suspected of doing so. An example might be if… A teacher shouts at a student because he thinks she intends to support another pupil’s harassment claim.
At college all students have the responsibility to…
Have high expectations of College to tackle discrimination and promote equality and diversity. Treat all staff, students and visitors with respect at all times. Abide by the Single Equality Scheme at all times. Report incidents of harassment, victimisation or discrimination to a member of college staff.
Final Thoughts and Contact Details We hope you really enjoy your time as a Class Rep and find it really worthwhile for you as well as changing college for the better too. And remember, if you have any questions or issues about your role, or if you are struggling to fulfil your responsibilities for any reason at all please just get in touch with the Enrichment team! e:
0151 252 3683
w: facebook.com/livcollenrich w: twitter.com/livcollenrich w: livcollenrich.tumblr.com Based in room 1.50 at The Learning Exchange.