On Thursday 5 October, School Council had its first meeting of the 2023-24 academic year. It was amazing to see new and old reps come together to decide what we will be focusing on in the coming year.
I was pleased to welcome our first-ever Junior Department reps, Tamara and Lola from Years 5 and 6, along with new representatives from across many year groups.
We started the meeting with notices from Beth and Eloise, the Upper Sixth leaders of our Eco Council and the Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Group, about their progress last year and their current aims. We also had the chance to discuss the School’s recent Open Day and collect feedback in hopes of improving the experience next year. Lastly, we opened the floor to general feedback and comments, as we often do each meeting for about 20 minutes. It was great to hear about everyone’s thoughts and I was pleased that people were eager and had lots to say.
We talked first about the continued issues with the lunch queue and timings for older year groups. This is something that we will keep discussing and brainstorming solutions for in future meetings, as students point out that we could implement a fairer system that alternates who gets an early lunch and when. We also talked about the Meat-Free Monday lunch we had on the 1 October, many of the students said they enjoyed the food, especially the Junior Department, and they would like to see more vegetarian options – like the falafel – that don’t use “fake meat”.
Secondly, in response to the Flair Impact Survey the School recently carried out, School Council discussed how we can help students to feel more comfortable and to be themselves at school. A new student-led discussion group has been set up by members of the Lower Sixth which we hope will create a safe space where discussions about race can be had.
Finally, the Sixth Form dress code was brought up as some students feel a smarter dress code would be preferred. This point brought up lots of people’s opinions and highlighted that this topic should be a focus of an upcoming meeting. Other topics for discussion in future meetings include Chapel, Personal Development, clubs and societies and lunch. I look forward to discussing these issues with this year’s amazing group of School Council representatives.