Student councils and the delivery of equality, quality, partnership, pluralism and accountability in Cork post primary schools
The following study is based on the hypothesis that the setting up of student councils in second level schools in Cork will support the key considerations of quality, equality, partnership, pluralism and accountability as set out in the government White Paper on Education, 1995. To provide a general background to the research, the study starts by reviewing, in chapter one, the state of education in Ireland to-day. This will include a brief look at student councils in other countries e.g. the USA, England, Canada and Norway. The study will chronicle the path of the recent Irish Education Act from Green Paper to White Paper to Education Bill to Education Act in 1998. The second chapter will examine the literature on student councils in Ireland to date. It will then review the literature on the five key considerations of quality, equality, partnership, pluralism and accountability and state how the setting up of a student council might support these. Chapter three will outline the research methods of the study. A questionnaire will be created, the ftrst part of which will seek information regarding the present position of student councils in Cork second level schools. The second part of the questionnaire will solicit the respondents' perceptions as to whether a student council can help to deliver these principles and whether the present student councils are actually delivering within the schools. All second level schools in Cork will be asked to pat1icipate. The questionnaire will be directed at the teacher co-ordinator of the student councils. In the schools where there is no student council, the deputy principal will be asked to complete the survey. A second questionnaire will be assembled to solicit the perceptions of the students regarding the work of the councils. Chapter four will chronicle the administration of the survey and present its findings. Conclusions will be drawn and stated. Chapter five will discuss the findings of the research and present recommendations that will point the way forward for the Department for Education and Science, teachers and students.