STUDENT VOICE

Introduction

Fairfield has operated a robust Student Council to represent the views of all students for many years. In recent years, our expectation and aspiration of students in electing a representative Council has increased. As a result, the Student Council have been elected as the best Student Council in the Westbury Youth Awards, winning on 2 occasions.

The Student Council is the voice of all the students in the college. It supports them to develop new skills and knowledge that will support them as they transition into adulthood.

What the impact has been

Community and Council Members have been connecting with students and the community. Here is a sample of some of their work:

  • Suggestion box idea from Ann to help community members over the Christmas period, collecting food for the local food bank. Linking with Cross Point in Westbury, who were thrilled with the idea. Ann and Council Members set up collection points around the college, put up posters to inspire the public to donate in the café/shop and sent letters home asking for donations. They collected a total of 6 large boxes of food, toiletries and Christmas goodies and took to Cross Point in Westbury for families in need.
  • Organised a range of fund-raising events:
  • Children in Need – raised £336.88)
  • Christmas Jumper Day – raised £130.71
  • Current Comic Relief 2020 Campaign
  • Meeting with the CEO/Principal, Chair and Vice Chair of the Trust Board to raise student issues and agree on action from them.

    How it will be sustained/further developed?

    • Representation at the Local Area Board to discuss climate change.
    • Working with Westbury Town Council to gather ideas from students regarding the “Wonderful Cinema”. The idea is to hold film nights twice a month on a Tuesday for local people.
    • Work with WiltsCil Knowledge Cafes. This has resulted in members selection to support a research project involving robotics, how they promote rights for people with disabilities and access their community through Bristol University.
    • Work with Open Westbury re community developments.
    • Formed a wellbeing team with 3 students selected to support students with their wellbeing and other concerns. The Student Council worked with Rosie (Talk Therapist) to develop a wellbeing programme.
    • Continue to plan upcoming events to include a sponsored bike ride, swim and sports event.
    • Weekly Student Council meetings in which students set the agenda and disseminate key messages between the students and college leaders.

    Academic Year 2019-2020

    In October, our student campaign to elect their new Student Council representatives started. Students self-nominated and relentlessly campaigned. This included, creating posters, flyers, talking to students and staff about their aspirational roles and visiting tutorial sessions to raise their profile. This was linked to the general election campaign and as a result campaign videos were created to ‘connect with the students and get them to vote’. A total of 26 students produced campaign videos. On 18 October, students discussed each candidate, watched the campaign videos and voted. With over 100 votes, it was the most successful turnout ever.

    On 23 October, our new Student Council was voted in, comprising of:

    • Francis – Secretary
    • Nathan – Events Organiser
    • Leon – Chairperson
    • Corrie – Vice Chairperson
    • Elani – Treasurer