School Council - 1969



President: The Headmaster Chairman: C. C. Pond (1968/9); A. E. Smith (1969) Vice-chairman: P. R. Good (1968/9); R. Phillips (1969) Secretary: I. D. A. Rathbone (1968/9)
In recent years, the main criticism of the School Council has been that it is merely a debating chamber of no consequence and frequently facetious. Over the past academic year, this has been refuted time and time again, and I think the President would vouch that the Council had performed valuable work as an intermediary between the Headmaster, staff and School, bringing to the notice of all points which have been overlooked or need amplification. This is democracy with everyone in the School able to air griev-ances and purpose constructive reforms or projects.
Taking the current academic year 1968/9, the new system of dinners has been the object of several motions (note that it was the School Council that initiated the new system in 1968 by appointing a committee to investigate the possibilities), the main objection being to the egalitarian allocation of food, which seemed to give less than the sixth form were accustomed to. The President pointed out that the majority accepted the status quo and the high cost of the original conversion made it impossible to change back.
Another annual 'old chestnut' brought to the Council's notice was the permission to do homework in School which, while soundly argued, was generally agreed to be an anomaly of the very name.
A new set of School rules was drawn up by a committee appointed in November, and at present is under consideration by the Headmaster. A motion on co-education was rejected out of hand as beyond the jurisdiction of the Council, though not with-out regrets in some quarters. The Chairman did point out that the School had been co-educational until 1866.
In December, the Council voted to change the name of Morris House to Chaplin House in honour of the late Chairman of the Governors, S. N. Chaplin, esq.
To prove the revolutionary nature of the Council, a motion that 'there be a review of traditions within the School' was hotly debated but seemed to centre on another 'old chestnut' which has irked numerous schoolboys over the years, that of School assembly. Needless to say, the motion was rejected while certain members offered to conduct assembly for a week on an experimental basis.
A sixth form common room was proposed and carried by a large majority, but there is an obvious lack of accommodation in the building and it seems that the sixth form will have to await the completion of the modernisation plans. A form damages fund was also proposed but rejected.
Once again, in January, assembly was the subject of a motion deploring the standard of hymn singing, several suggestions being offered, the least acceptable of which was that the hymns be sung to the tunes of current pop songs to enliven the proceedings. It was generally agreed that it was the sixth form's responsibility to lead the singing, and in the ensuing weeks the standard did improve considerably, while some sixth formers planned to orga-nise some experimental singing accompanied by a group of musicians.
Amongst other points brought forward for the Council's attention in motions and in 'Questions to the Chair' were the shortening of the lunch hour to allow the school to go home earlier, the wearing of rings by the sixth form and some consti-tutional changes relating to the position of the Vice-chairman, the powers of the Chairman and the rejection of motions.
Space limits the inclusion of several other points relating to school life and of course some of the more entertaining moments of Council Meetings (the minutes can always be obtained from the Secretary). However, I have tried to show that the Council is not a mere debating chamber and has a unique and essential position in Monoux.
I. D. A. Rathbone (Secretary)

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