School Sport Survey: Setting up a School Council





When Monmouthshire teacher Sarah Burbridge was mulling over the School Sport Survey results for Shirenewton Primary in 2013, it dawned on her that they should have a Sports Council. 


Now she simply fizzes with excitement when she talks about everything they've achieved at the school - and she says it's all down to the Council.

So if you're thinking of setting up a Sports Council at your school, here's a word to the wise…

First things first

The first thing I did was to go to the Headteacher and explain that I thought we needed a Sports Council and why. She was extremely supportive and told me to go for it. We didn't require permission from the governors but we did keep them informed of our plans.

Cast your votes

We have lots of other school committees for which members are elected. But we decided to use our Year 6 House Captains and Deputy House Captains as previously they didn't have much to do. Now the Sports Council is a large focus of their role.

Pupils present an election speech to their house and the children vote for a boy and a girl. Our Young Ambassadors also sit on the council to make a total committee of 12.

First team huddle

At the first meeting, I explain the aim of the Sports Council and how we can help. A Chairperson and a Secretary is elected and we decide on our Mission Statement which is driven by the School Sports Survey results - so it could be around making pupils feel more comfortable doing sport, for example. That's something I help steer.

Supporting the Council

As the staff representative, I meet with the Chair to decide the agenda ahead of meetings.

I help guide and facilitate the meeting, rather than lead. I might have to calm some ideas down if they are not feasible. But the group soon understand what might not work in practice and opt for a simplified version of an idea.

The clubs obviously need staff supervision so it's a good idea to try and share that out among the staff.

Work of the Council

As a council, we meet during Assembly time (just like all the other committees) and we meet twice a month, sometimes more.

We need to meet regularly because we're running three clubs every week - cross country, cheerleading and table tennis. We break into smaller groups to organise the clubs and the children are in charge of everything - from advertising the sessions and encouraging attendance to leading the activity itself.

At meetings, we discuss what went well and what to do differently next time.

They say…

The children enjoy the responsibility and the parents think it is wonderful.

The governors have been really impressed. Each school committee has a link governor which means they attend some meetings and feed back. The children also attend governor meetings and present their work and the progress made. Pupil voice is so important in our school.

And the results are in

When we get the results this time around, we will give the whole report to the Council, as we did last time. We find it perfectly accessible for the Year 6s and they can make sense of it. It's important they see the results - they answered the questions, so they should see the answers.

We will break into smaller groups to focus on different questions and we will probably do follow up questionnaires with pupils to drill down even further.

Final pearl of wisdom?

Just have a go! Don't worry about what might go wrong. After all, our children all need to learn that we learn from our mistakes. 

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For more information on how to put your school sport survey results to good use visit the school sport survey webpage