Steering Group Guidance

During Covid

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Steering Groups, School Council and other pupil voice groups can be particularly challenging to facilitate with social distancing measures, ‘bubbles’ and other safety measures in place.

But it is important to make sure that children’s voices are heard during this pandemic and this guidance should help you address some of the issues that relate to facilitating participation at this time.

We understand the challenges you are facing and want to make clear that this won’t affect your accreditation at Bronze, Silver or Gold.

  • At Bronze, we’re asking that you add the creation of a Steering Group to your action plan or consider how an existing group might take on the additional responsibility, even temporarily.
  • At Silver and Gold, evidence from your pre-Covid practice will be taken into consideration – if you’ve had a successful Steering Group in the past, don’t worry about not being able to continue it in exactly the same way during these difficult times.

Working within restrictions

It is important to note that our guidance is developing and evolving along with the situation. We are placing an emphasis on flexibility in our approach to working with schools and for specific queries relating to your unique circumstances contact your Professional Adviser who can give you a tailored response.

The following ideas are best practice examples from other Rights Respecting schools:

  • Pupil voice meetings socially distanced in the hall and timetabled so that different groups can use it at different times.
  • Socially distanced meetings outside when weather permits.
  • Virtual meetings on Teams, or similar technology such as Zoom or Google Meet.
  • Use suggestion boxes in each ‘bubble’ to collect children’s views and read them out on Monday in an assembly or at least 48 hours after submission.
  • Have each ‘bubble’ take on responsibility for a particular area of work such as RRSA, Eco Schools, School Council.
  • Use your own class as a pupil group so, for example, if you lead on RRSA use your class as the Steering Group.

If you have a technique which has worked for you let us know so we can share that information and help other schools to move forward on their journey.  Email us at rrsa@unicef.org.uk with your suggestions.

Sharing group discussions across the school

It’s important to remember that the discussions and activity of groups should be shared more widely than just the members of that group.

The following ideas are best practice examples from other Rights Respecting schools:

  • Fit content into other things you’re doing like virtual assemblies or school newsletters.
  • Write a blog or tweet about developments.
  • Create a display in school for each group, if you don’t already have one.
  • Make a short PowerPoint or a simple video to report on your work or to inform people of your next project.

If you’re really struggling to move forward, have a look at our  Support Workshops or talk to your Professional Adviser, who’ll be happy to help.

Looking for things for your Steering Group to do?  Take a look at our practical guide.

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