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Members of a student council

A student council (also known as a student union or associated student body) is a curricular or extracurricular activity for students within elementary and secondary schools around the world. These councils are present in most public and private K-12 school systems across the United States, Canada, Australia and Asia. Student councils often serve to engage students in learning about democracy and leadership, as originally espoused by John Dewey in Democracy and Education (1917).



The student council helps share students’ ideas, interests, and concerns with teachers and school principals. They often also help raise funds for school-wide activities, including social events, community projects, helping people in need and school reform. Most schools participate in food drives, fundraisers and parties.[1][2] Many members learn skills that were an extension of their formal education.

Officer PositionsEdit


Student councils operate in many forms. There are representative-based and modeled loosely after the U.S. Congress, or based on the Executive Branch of the United States, with a President, Vice-President, secretary, treasurer, and reporter. In this form student representatives and officers are usually elected from and by the student body, although there may be prerequisites for candidacy or suffrage. In elementary schools, there are typically one or two student representatives per classroom and one presiding set of officers. However, many secondary schools have one set of officers per grade level.

An example of the structure of an elementary student council may include a president, a vice president, secretary, treasurer, sergeant of arms, fundraising officer, historian, boys rep, and girls rep. These roles may be assigned or voted on, either within the student council or by the entire student body. They may also reflect descending grade-levels, with the president in the oldest grade, and so forth.[3] Secondary school governments often have more independence and power than younger governments. Often a student government is overseen by a sponsor, which is usually a teacher at that particular school. Most junior or middle school student councils have a constitution of some sort and usually do not have a judicial branch.[4] Compared to elementary school councils, junior high and high school councils generally have fewer people.

In some schools, a student council representative is assigned to each class. That person passes on requests, ideas and complaints from students in that class to the student council. In other schools, the elected Class Officers are automatically members of the student council.[5]

Student councils usually do not have funding authority and generally must generate their operating funds through fundraisers such as car washes and bake sales.[6] Some student councils have a budget from the school, along with responsibility for funding a variety of student activities within a school.

Regional and national structuresEdit

Student councils can join larger associations, and in the United States, the National Association of Student Councils. In Canada, the Canadian Student Leadership Association coordinates the national scene,[7] and in the United Kingdom an organization called involver provides training, support and coordination for the nation's student councils[8]

United KingdomEdit

Student Councils (or sometimes Student Voice and Student Union) at secondary school level are usually bodies nominated by teachers in state schools (and public and private schools without a house system). There are some regional networks between the representative bodies..


In Germany each class vote for their Classspeaker(Klassensprecher) and Vice Classspeaker(Stellv. Klassensprecher). The Classspeaker and the Vice Classspeaker of all classes form the student assembly (SV). In the most states of Germany the student assembly vote together the Studentspeaker or also called Schoolspeaker. In some other states of Germany, all students vote for their Studenspeaker.


The Student councils in Indonesia are officially formed by the government and is called OSIS (Organisasi Siswa Intra Sekolah). OSIS is present in both junior high school and high school. Every year, the committee which usually consists of teachers and former student council members hold a selection process to admit students who meet qualifications to join OSIS, while the president is voted by students of the school. In some practices, the teachers can also vote depends on their own regulation.


In Pakistan, Student Councils are being introduced in many Private and Public Schools. Student council are playing an important role in Pakistani schools.

Structure of Student council in Pakistan:
1. Head Boy, Head Girl / President / School Captain / Head Prefect.
2. Vice Head Boy, Vice Head Girl / Vice President / Deputy Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl / School Vice Captain.
3. Secretary(or Secretaries) / House Captains /Senior Prefects (junior to Secretary, if any)
4. School Prefects / Prefects / Volunteers/ Heads and Members of Group (like literary board, art and design, etc., if any)
5. Class Monitors
6. Vice Monitors
7. Other Monitors (distribution/collection/health/lunch/board/cupboard/records/subject monitor/etc.)

Student Council in Pakistan maybe elected, nominated or selected after interview or written examination or both but can also be based on academic behaviour or discipline.


Student governments of different schools throughout the Philippine Republic are often directly elected by student body members of the class or organization which they supposedly govern. In most cases, especially in high schools, candidates can only run for the following positions:

United StatesEdit



Israel's national student and youth council (Hebrew: מועצת התלמידים והנוער הארצית) is an elected body representing all youth in Israel since 1993. Representatives are elected democratically from district youth councils. (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Center, Haifa, Arab sector, South, and North). The council comprises youth from the different sectors: religious, secular, Jewish, Arab, Druze and a Bedouin representative. The National Youth Council representatives mediate between Government decision makers and the Youth representatives. They participate in the various "Knesset" (the Israeli parliament) committees: Education, internal Affairs, Violence, Drugs and Science. Youth representatives participate in committees dealing with youth-related issues such as: children's rights, violence, delinquency and youngsters at risk - cut off from mainstream youth. Youth representatives also participate in discussions concerning matriculation examinations, discussing a national project on school trips, delegations Youth representatives youth, are invited by high officials, ministers and even the president and officials from foreign countries. Israel's national student and youth council is the first youth council in the world that made student rights legislation. In 2006 graduates of the Israel's national student and youth council founded an association named Bematana. The association's mission is to promote young leaders who are elected as representatives in student and youth councils in Israel. in 2012 the Israel's national student and youth council held the International Youth Leadership Conference under the slogan. "Take The Lead!"



Secondary high schools, lukio, and vocational schools in Finland have student councils. They incorporate all the students of the institution but their status is marginal, locally and nationally. Legislation demands that they should be heard in all matters pertaining to the education in the institution, but this is often not done.


Since 1998 in Ireland there has been sustained development of student councils in post primary schools. In 2008 the Irish Second Level Students Union was founded as the National Umbrella body to organize and coordinate the national campaign efforts of the student councils. The Union is also a member of OBESSU.


All schools in Norway are required by law to have a student council elected by the students. The aim of student council is usually to improve their school through encouraging social, cultural and other extracurricular events in the local community. The student councils in Norway are governed by a Board of Directors which is either elected directly or by the student council.


In Singapore many secondary schools have a student council, which provides a medium for communication between the students and the school administration, a form of student welfare, and an important event-organising body. Some secondary schools name their student council like "Student Leader Board" or "Student Leader Committee", etc. They are usually nominated by peers and subsequently elected based on the decision of the teachers overseeing the student leader body. In Junior Colleges, the Students' Council serve a greater purpose than their younger counterparts. They are given more autonomy in their planning and execution of school events. Though the structure varies from college to college, they generally follow this structure:

In the Executive Committee

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • General Secretary

Not in the Executive Committee

  • Other Councillors

Every councillor not in the executive committee has a specific duty, assigned to them either by volunteering or internal election. It is important to note that there may be more than one person holding the same title in the Executive Committee (there can be 2 Presidents, 3 Vice-Presidents, 2 Treasurers, etc.).


Most of the universities in Spain have student councils which are regulated by law. Some of the basic points are the 24% of student representation in the board. Each university council is elected by universal suffrage of the students.


In Bulgaria most of the universities have a student council, regulated by law and the regulations of each university. The biggest one in Bulgaria is the Student Council of Sofia University -


In India, Student Councils have been introduced in almost all Private and Public Schools. Student council plays an important role in Indian schools.
Structure of Student council in India:
1. Head Boy, Head Girl / President / School Captain / Head Prefect.
2. Vice Head Boy, Vice Head Girl / Vice President / Deputy Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl / School Vice Captain.
3. Acting Vice Head Boy, Acting Vice Head Girl/ Senior Secretary (junior to Acting Vice Head Boy, if any)/ Disciplinary In-Charge/ In-Charge of Duties and Records/School Coordinator
4. Secretary(or Secretaries) / House Captains /Senior Prefects (junior to Secretary, if any)
5. School Prefects / Prefects / Volunteers/ Heads and Members of Group (like literary board, art and design, etc., if any)
6. Class Monitors
7. Vice Monitors
8. Other Monitors (distribution/collection/health/lunch/board/cupboard/records/subject monitor/etc.)

Student Council in India maybe elected, nominated or selected after interview (or written examination or both).


In Canada, the student council is used for helping the school with special events and planning other events. The student council also raises money for food banks.

Some examples of the positions in Student Councils in Canada are President, Vice President, Treasurer (Minister of Finance), Secretary (Minister of Records), Social Convener (Minister of Communications), etc.

In most schools, there are also students who are Grade Level Representatives which represent students of their grades. But in some schools, positions are only offered to 4th graders.


In Iran, each November since 1997, secondary school students at each school in the nation elect between 5-14 Student Council members (شوراهای دانش‌آموزی در ایران), which act as the main medium of communication and debate between the student body and school officials. The size of the Council at each school depends largely on the class size and school policies. Candidates are given a week to advertise their "campaigns" before the election day. Casting a vote is mandatory for all students, with each student being allowed to vote for up to 5 candidates. Out of all the elected members, one is then chosen by the electees as the head of the Council. Student Council in Iran is known as an organization that mainly promotes interpersonal and leadership skills, constructive debates between school officials and the students, and organization of school activities and field trips.

Notable student council participantsEdit

Student council in popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Student Council", Mills Lawn School. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  2. ^ Fletcher, A. (2005) Meaningful Student Involvement. SoundOut. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  3. ^ "A Journey Through the Student Council School Year œ Elementary Focus", Montgomery County Public Schools. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  4. ^ English, U. (1972) "Organizing a Middle School or Junior High School Student Council." National Association of Middle School Principals. ED103795. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  5. ^ "Student Government Association Officers' Petition" FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS website
  6. ^ "Fundraising ideas", Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  7. ^ CSLA. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  8. ^ involver. Retrieved 11/29/07.
  9. ^ "NASC - National Association of Student Councils". Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  10. ^ "California Association of Student Councils". CASC. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  11. ^ "TASC". Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  12. ^ "Oklahoma Association of Student Councils". Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Building Tomorrow's Leaders Today". Masc / Mahs. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "BHSStudentCouncil - home". 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  17. ^ Dynamx Digital. "NMASC Online". Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  18. ^
  19. ^