The VicSRC Action Pitch explained

We're calling for mandatory student involvement in decision making processes by partaking in key policy meetings including, but not limited to, school council meetings.

VicSRC Action Pitch

The project

At Congress 2015, delegates were tasked with developing a bold and innovative idea around key issues affecting students today. Creative ideas flowed around bullying student-teacher relationships, leadership and governance through to curriculum and school culture. The idea behind the action pitch was to present an actionable ‘solution’ to these issues. In groups, students pitched ten ideas and delegates voted on the pitches that they wanted the VicSRC Executive to action in 2015-2016.

Congress is not merely a discussion without any real power, but the place for students to start achieving change. The action pitch promotes a holistic view of the issues facing students today and thereby promoting better, relevant, and achievable solutions.

The winning pitch

The successful action pitch this year was from the ‘School Governance and Leadership’ Issues Group. The group dealt with both how schools are governed, administrated and how students can be part of that process. Beginning with a (now iconic) chant, “WE WANT A CHOICE, GIVE US A VOICE!”, the Action Pitch called for a renewed focus on students being placed to help make higher level decisions in school. It called for mandatory students on school councils, to give students a real voice in decision making, but more than that, it was a call for students to be treated as respected partners in the journey of education.

“We believe that there should be mandatory student involvement in decision making processes by partaking in key policy meetings including, but not limited to, school council meetings.

“We need to run a campaign, hire professionals, or recruit volunteers and provide training to schools to get our student voices heard. We want a choice, give us a voice! It’s our education!”

Challenges

While schools value student input, and may take limited and often tokenistic measures to gauging student opinion, how many schools actively involve students in the decision making process for high level decisions? This is what we want to change.

One of the largest obstacles appears to a sense of inertia, whereby educators are opposed to change because of either a more conservative mind-set or a genuine concern over the lack of resources and testing of more modern changes, such as giving students more authority.

Next steps

The Action Pitch aimed to combat this through two factors:

1. Raise awareness and instigate top-down reform (eg. through government policy) of the administration of schools to mandate the inclusion of student voices in the decision making process. To do this the government needs to be informed of how the students feel, we think that the best way of doing this is by campaigning directly to them about why this is important.

2. Educate and find the best ways of specifically allowing students a greater voice. This would not only help students directly, but also aid in convincing schools to see how students could have more say, at a practical level. Some may think that these changes are unlikely to occur, but we feel they are definitely achievable.

Stay tuned

This Action Pitch truly resonates with the students’ desire to transform their education system for the better. The VicSRC Executive team are launching the campaign in 2016. Keep an eye out for more in the coming weeks!


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