Student Representative Council

Turn your student voice into an asset for your school

The Student Representative Council (SRC) is a vital part of Australia’s school education landscape.

SRCs emerged from a desire to make student voice, agency and participation a bigger part of our K-12 school system, in line with the principles of the democracy we are all lucky to live within.

Over time, their value has become supported by a large bank of research showing the benefits of student voice and engagement, in everything from student wellbeing to learning outcomes.

There are many reasons to nurture an effective Student Representative Council

An SRC is great for both individual students and schools. Here are just a few reasons to invest time and resources into your SRC.

Reason 1: Schools are able to make better decisions

SRCs are a mechanism used by many schools to support better quality decisions and strategy.

Peer Support Australia’s Senior Wellbeing Education Consultant Jill Pearman says: “One of the obvious benefits is that schools are able to canvass students and seek input to help them determine things like where and how the school moves forward into the future”

Reason 2: You’re developing young leaders

Student reps have an opportunity to develop leadership skills and qualities. Our SRC training framework for students, for example, covers communication, project management and planning, decision making, problem solving, collaboration and relationship building, assertiveness and negotiation.

Reason 3: Students are more engaged

Students’ engagement in learning, and their academic outcomes, are influenced by whether they feel they have a voice and individual agency in their school. Research  shows that the quality and nature of participation is key to increasing student achievement.

Reason 4: Wellbeing can be better supported  

SRCs can enhance students’ sense of belonging to the school community. Jill says SRCs are useful for improving vertical integration between different age groups. They can inject life into a school through events and activities, and promote respect, inclusivity and a sense of community.

SRCs can also help identify any problems with student wellbeing or help to improve it through their own student-led initiatives.

Students feeling that they have a voice is linked to feelings of wellbeing.

Reason 5: Participation is embedded in the school culture

SRCs bring schools into alignment with the principles of democratic participation that students will be learning and taking forward beyond their school years. This includes Australia’s international commitments that children should have their voices heard when decisions made affect them.

Reinvigorate your school’s Student Representative Council with our online training

We offer a two-hour online workshop for teachers to learn a best practice approach to their school’s Student Representative Council. Join Jill Pearman, our Senior Wellbeing Education Consultant, to find out how to form and run your SRC. Plus join in the discussion with other teachers about their SRC experiences and the activities used at their schools.

Participants also receive a one-day training program to run with their student council representatives.