School Council

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School Council

 

 

1943

I have been asked to write about the meaning and purpose of the newly formed School Council. These I have already explained to the School in general and the Councillors in particular, but a word to other readers of the magazine may be of interest, and what follows is meant more particularly for them.
The School Council is representative of all the boys in the School, representation increasing as one ascends from the first is tm to the sixth. The only ex officio members are the Prefects, the rest obtaining office by form election (though at present the whole of the sixth form is included.) The Council meets monthly in consider matters affecting the general welfare of the School, items of business being introduced by the members or sent along for discussion by the Headmaster and Staff. The suggestions agreed upon by the Council are then discussed in a Staff Meeting and the Headmaster subsequently either announces their adoption sir explains the reasons for non-acceptance. Neither the Headmaster nor any member of the Staff is present at the ordinary meetings unless specially requested, but the Headmaster may report decisions in person at a special meeting. The chair is taken by a boy. Among the duties of the Council is the election of Prefects, the Headmaster retaining a right of veto and a limited right of additional nomination. This is a very brief summary of the constitution.
The purpose of the establishment of the Council is two-fold. First, the fostering of the corporate spirit of the School and the direct identification of each boy in the School with its interests; it is an experiment, to the limit of what is possible, in the sharing of management by the boys. Secondly, the training of the boys In democratic method so that they can obtain a practical experience of the rights and duties of citizenship, experience which I hope will stand them in good stead and which they will use right through life.
Thus the Council should be both a training for, and a practice in democratic citizenship. The defeat of National Socialism and Fascism in the world will not in itself mean the triumph of the democratic idea: that will only be achieved by a much more active effort than in the past by each citizen, and a real feeling for the welfare and service of the community, and training in democratic leadership. That is the aim behind the experiment.
A stimulating present-day writer and speaker on education, Sir Richard Livingstone, holds, among many admirable theses, two with which I strongly disagree. One is that Civics or Social Studies should not be taught as a subject in schools, but can be acquired by incidental and occasional reference during the study of other subjects. The other is that only in the Public (boarding)
Schools is genuine community spirit and true leadership fostered. I believe that the day Grammar School has peculiar advantages at least as great as a Public School and opportunities no less fine. And I would like to argue them at length - but there is a paper shortage!
J.F.Elam


 

 

1944

President: D.G.Ridealgh
Secretary; J. Percival
Apart from a short break during the first period of severe flying-bomb attacks, the School Council has met regularly since its inception, announced in our last issue. The attendance, has often been poor, but. an improvement has been noticeable at recent meetings, and the enthusiasm of those who do attend outweighs the general lack of experience in speaking which has not yet been overcome.
The limited space at our disposal does not permit us to give a full account of all business transacted by the Council since its foundation. Full reports of all meetings have appeared in the Monoux Bulletin, and we are able to print here a brief summary of the business transacted.
Ten new monitors have been nominated by the Council, all of whom have received the Headmaster's approval. Well over thirty motions and resolutions have been discussed, covering such varied subjects as the Red Cross Fund, detentions, gym and music periods, the distribution of milk, cycle sheds, General Purposes subscriptions, holidays, School societies, private study, air raids, the Monovian, the School Song and the Rag Concert. Many of these motions were passed by the Council and approved by the Headmaster, and have thus affected the activities of every boy in the School. Several amendments to the Constitution of the Council have also been passed, and the establishment of a separate Junior Council was proposed, but this has not yet been put into effect.
It will be seen that the Council really is having an important and practical effect on the life of the School. Another effect of the Council, rather less obvious, but perhaps even more important,
is that of providing some experience of the methods and practice of democratic goverrunent, an experience which will in later years prove invaluable.


 

 

1947

President _ - R.P.Hastings
Secretary _ - C.R.Collins
The School Council has in divers ways proved its worth. To it are taken suggestions from the boys themselves for the smoother and more efficient running of the School. Many questions concerning the boys, such as points of discipline for example, are decided by the Staff, and the only chance of letting the boys say what they think of these decisions is afforded by the Council. Thus besides giving Monovians a taste of democratic government, which is one of the aims of the Council, it provides for the Headmaster a useful pointer of opinion amongst the boys.
The business transacted has not been of a startling nature, election of prefects and the discussion of motions concerning games, the house system, and school dinners amongst others. One welcome feature of late has been the increased attendances, which mean that more interest is being shown in the affairs of the Council.
Two changes in the constitution have been proposed recently. Since it has been found that the practice of electing any sixth former to be chairman at Council meetings sometimes leads to people with little knowledge of the rules of debate being elected, a proposal has been put forward that a member of the staff should be in the chair. A further proposal would allow boys more than one speech on each motion. This seems to indicate that members are becoming more and more ready to propound their views upon a given subject, which is a happy augury for the future.

President: S. J. Barker
Secretary: F.G. Claridge
Attendance at some meetings of the School Council has been rather poor, but in spite of this the Council has dealt with a considerable amount of business.
Three new monitors have been elected and two representatives were chosen to serve on the School Finance Committee. One meeting had the record number of thirteen motions before it, but these were disposed of in a remarkably short time. Of course, familiar subjects such as milk distribution and the supply of lapel badges were again up for discussion. It was suggested, however, that the School authorities should supply the Football First Eleven with shorts, shirts, etc. The Junior School Council has met, and three motions from the first meeting were handed to the Senior Council for consideration. Although not of particularly great moment, they showed that the junior School is no longer afraid to express opinions, and with free discussion the suggestions will probably become more and more constructive. Once again the importance of the Council as preparation for participation in local and national government affairs must be emphasised, and it is to be hoped that the whole School will take a more active interest in it.


 

 

1948

President: Keith J. Bridge
Secretary: G.G.S. Searle
Meetings have been held at regular intervals and a high standard of debate has been attained. Attendances have been consistently good and the changes in the constitution, which have been proposed seem to show an increasing interest in the affairs of the Council. The President of the Council is now its permanent Chairman, the idea of a member of the Staff filling the chair having been dispensed with after one experimental meeting.
Six more monitors have been elected and motions have been passed on such varying subjects as the changing rooms, dinner hour arrangements, House football, visitors to the Council, School tie and the rules of debate. The detention system, the School library, table-tennis, the Rag Concert and the "Save Europe Now" appeal have also come under the consideration of the Council.
The Council's last meeting before the Easter holiday was an extraordinary one convened for the special purpose of sending a valedictory message to the Headmaster. Old Monovians will recall that it was Mr. Elam who founded the School Council in the early part of 1944, and it was felt that by means of such a message the Council could convey its appreciation to him in the most appropriate manner.
G.S.


 

 

1949

President - R. R. Gunton
Secretary - - B. G. Chaplin
During the last three terms, the School Council has continued to meet at regular intervals, and attendance has been maintained at a steady 64 per cent. Discussion has always been lively, and has revealed a keen interest in the School and its workings.
Included in the solid body of work accomplished by the Council during the year were the election of eight monitors and the disposal of various charitable funds, some of which went to the United Nations Children's Organisation, and some to Dr. Barnardo's Homc at Woodford Green. As the result of three motions passed by the Council, a highly successful Rag Concert was held at Christmas, the Monoux Bulletin has been revived, and House Cricket was successfully organised. There have been motions on tennis and table tennis, and a motion wishing the School's football team a success in France was also passed.
The length of the dinner hour and of the afternoon session, the various bells rung during the dinner hour, the state of crockery and cutlery at second dinners, the condition of the towels and soap in the lobbies, and Morning Prayers are questions concerning the internal life of the School which have been discussed and dealt with by the Council. Attendance at Council meetings has been a regular
topic, and a resolution limiting the number of motions to three for one person during a Council meeting has been passed.

B.G. Chaplin

The School Council held three meetings during the autumn term, one of them had to be completed at a second sitting. Motions and questions ranged over a wide variety of subjects and interest remained keen throughout the term. The main handicap to councillors has been the irregularity of House meetings at which to present reports of the School Council.
Many of the motions were accepted and applied. The Council proposed the holding of a mock election at which the parliamentary candidates for East Walthamstow should speak. One of its recommendations for Prefects was accepted: full Colours were made available for chess; a number of suggestions concerning fire precautions are being applied; and T.C.P. has replaced iodine in the first-aid boxes in the science laboratories. The recommendation, "That the School stand when the electric bell is rung in the morning before assembly", has been put into force.
Among the motions defeated were those proposing the formation of a football supporters' club, admitting Fifth Formers in their second year to the status of Sixth Formers, and making less rigid the censorship imposed upon the Bulletin; the latter was defeated by the chairman's casting vote.
Have not the achievements of the School Council during the term proved conclusively that an institution where the School can make recommendations on any subject is a useful one?


 

1952

The school Council held four monthly meetings in the first half of l952, and business was so heavy at two of them that the agenda had to he spread over two evenings. A wide range of topics was discussed and much useful legislation passed. As the result of a motion investigations were made about taking rubbings from the memorial brass of Sir George Monoux to be framed and hung in the Library. The suggestion that fifth and sixth formers should be invited to pay for end-of-term visits was accepted and applied.
A motion was passed concerning the brightening up of the Milk Room, though nothing has yet been done owing to disagree-ment as to the way- to set about the task. The Council appointed two boys to be responsible for inspecting bicycles and the Police were asked to assist. A number of recommendations and amend-ments were passed about fire precautions, and as a result instruc-tions were issued for fire drill; they are now pinned up in all rooms. The School Council also passed a motion that it should revert to a basis of representation by forms.
Suggestions were made about the detention system but none of them proved acceptable. The motion that members of Houses should sit together at dinner was defeated by the chairman's casting vote. It was agreed that water should be provided at dinner as soon as possible. The proposal to appoint a committee representing the whole School for selecting books for the Library was impracticable, because of the limited grant of money for buying books. A further suggestion that School text books should be placed in the Library for quick reference was accepted in a modified form.
After the minutes of the meeting on the 27th May had been handed to the Headmaster he said he proposed to receive no more motions from the Council until he was satisfied about the attitude of its members as pupils of the School.

The School Council held three meetings during the autumn term, one of them had to be completed at a second sitting. Motions and questions ranged over a wide variety of subjects and interest remained keen throughout the term. The main handicap to councillors has been the irregularity of House meetings at which to present reports of the School Council.
Many of the motions were accepted and applied. The Council proposed the holding of a mock election at which the parliamentary candidates for East Walthamstow should speak. One of its recommendations for Prefects was accepted: full Colours were made available for chess; a number of suggestions concerning fire precautions are being applied; and T.C.P. has replaced iodine in the first-aid boxes in the science laboratories. The recommendation, "That the School stand when the electric bell is rung in the morning before assembly", has been put into force.
Among the motions defeated were those proposing the formation of a football supporters' club, admitting Fifth Formers in their second year to the status of Sixth Formers, and making less rigid the censorship imposed upon the Bulletin; the latter was defeated by the chairman's casting vote.
Have not the achievements of the School Council during the term proved conclusively that an institution where the School can make recommendations on any subject is a useful one?


 

 

1953

Since the School Council was last mentioned in The Monovian it has gone through a difficult period. At the moment of writing, however, it seems to have re-established itself and to have indicated where its usefulness lies. For the best part of two terms, business had been continually held up by attempts to amend the constitution. These attempts were eventually successful and the unsatisfactory House representation was replaced by an officially-prepared system. Each form in each year from the first to the fifth sends one member and each House sends two members from its sixth form.
Now that the Council was in closer contact with the School, it was reasonably expected that for a change it would do something useful, or at least, interesting. This it did, in its first meeting it was decided to set up a School Council Committee to investigate the state of school societies and recommend action to restore them. This step was taken with two principal motives in mind: to help school societies by co-ordinating them and by giving an impartial and sympathetic opinion on them, which it was hoped would be received by the School, the Staff, and the societies in the same co-operative spirit that it was given; and to force the School's attention on the School Council.
In the second at least it was successful, and for several weeks, the Council was in the pages of The Bulletin and too, in the minds of many people in the School. The aim was, to create, even to contrive a stir, and so to arouse interest in the Council. We may fairly say that in this we were successful!.


 

 

1954

Since the School Council was last mentioned in The Monovian it has gone through a difficult period. At the moment of writing, however, it seems to have re-established itself and to have indicated where its usefulness lies. For the best part of two terms business had been continually held up by attempts to amend the constitution. These attempts were eventually successful and the unsatisfactory House representation was replaced by an officially prepared system. Each form in each year from the first to the fifth sends one member, and each House sends two members from its sixth form.
Now that the Council was in closer contact with the School, it was reasonably expected that for a change it would do something useful, or at least, interesting. This it did, in its first meeting, when it was decided to set up a School Council Committee to investigate the state of school societies and recommend action to restore them. This step was taken with two principal motives: to help school societies by co-ordinating them and by giving an impartial and sym-pathetic opinion on them which it was hoped would be received by the School, the Staff, and the societies in the same co-operative spirit that it was given; and to force the School's attention an the School Council.
In the second at least it was successful, and for several weeks the Council was in the pages of The Bulletin and too, in the minds of many people in the School. The aim was, to create, even to contrive a stir, and so to arouse interest in the Council. We may fairly say that in this we were successful !


 

 

1955

THE SCHOOL COUNCIL 1955
The attendance at meetings has fluctuated, but the motions and discussion have remained intelligent and spirited.
The following motions have been passed by the School Council in recent months: "That the pictures in the bottom corridor be changed "; "That football teams be supplied with better teas "; "That there should be some method of cancelling six-bells"; "That the bell at the bottom of the Bastille be moved to the top"; "That it be made a point of the constitution that a clear week's notice be given of a School Council meeting"; "That a junior and senior table-tennis team be formed"; and "That Question Time during Council meetings be open to dismssion".
The School Council deserves the support of every boy. It performs a unique function in the School, for by this means alone can boys effectively ensure that they have a say, albeit small, in the smooth running of the School. It acts as intermediary between Staff and boys, and thus creates a feeling of collective responsibility and a communal sense, which are essential if the School is not to degenerate into an impersonal instruction centre such as we sometimes find, for example, on the Continent.


 

 

1956

The Autumn Term saw the election of a new Secretary, and a host of new ideas appeared on the order paper for members to discuss. Mr. Bates was nominated to represent Monoux on the Walthamstow Junior Accident Prevention Council. The Council notes that some of its motions have borne fruit, namely that the bell has been removed from the bottom to the top of the Bastille Stairs, the system of milk distribution has been rearranged, and a hymn board has been made for Assembly.
Debates in the Council have always proved very lively; in many cases members have had to be evicted for over-enthusiasm. Other matters discussed by the Council have included: Dancing Classes, the organisation of The Bulletin, badges of recognition for boys holding the position of games captains, methods of raising money for the Almshouses Fund, School Table Tennis, towels in the cloakrooms, and the growing apathy in the Senior School to the House System.


 

 

1958

Chairman: G. M. STAINES
Secretary: R. C. GIRARD
The idea which prompted the foundation of the School Council is indeed praiseworthy; the idea that representatives from all levels of the School should meet periodically to discuss motions that they felt would improve the School; the idea that the boys themselves should have a voice in School affairs. These thoughts are admirable and their originator is to be applauded. But, like so many institutions around us, the School Council, which started with such high ideals, is hastily approaching obscurity. It is regretted that the Council has deteriorated into a meeting where members delight in holding the floor for a long period, saying as little relevant as possible. Perhaps this has mainly accounted for the poor attendance throughout the year. Fortunately, however, there is a small band whose sense of duty and realisation of the importance the School Council have led them to introduce several measures that have proved extremely worthwhile. The future of the School Council rests with these few members and one can only hope that by their example more people will realise the need to raise standards of debate and not let this excellent institution fall to the ground.
The more sensible proposals this year, which clearly illustrated the Council's possibilities, included motions concerning fire appliances, the improvement of classrooms, revision of the constitution and School routine.


 

 

1962

 

Chairman: P. W. Ward.
Vice-Chairman: J. Boulter.
Secretaries: A. T. Gable, T. S. Goodes.
The School Council started the year a little uncertainly and there was a feeling within the Council that it was not serving any useful purpose whatsoever. A committee was set up to investigate the matter. The report of the Committee was that the School Council be "dissolved completely and permanently." This proposal did not secure the complete confidence of the house and various suggestions were put forward as to ways in which the composition of the Council could be modified. All these alterations came to nought. One concession was, however, made by the President, namely that visitors to the Council be allowed to speak to motions although not to propose, second or vote on motions.
The Council has this year, unlike other years, accomplished very little: the hydraulic door-closer has been refitted to the library door, the Towelmaster towels have been changed more frequently and paper towels replaced in the containers. This is all the business that the Council has accomplished this year (up until March). All these three matters could have been dealt with by drawing the attention of the Headmaster to them without the necessity of the formality of debate before the Council. All the other matters that the Council has passed have not gained the consent of the President or the Staff.
The fears expressed at the beginning of the year so far appear to have been justified. With the limited powers the Council has, its only positive advantage is the training that it gives to boys in the procedure of local government. T. S. Goodes

President : Mr. V. J. Stirrup
Chairman: P. W. Ward.
Vice-Chairman: J. Boulter.
Secretary : T. S. Goodes.
The two power blocks within the Council have maintained peaceful co-existence since the last report and the business has proceeded more smoothly in the absence of petty differences between councillors.
The business of the Council has as usual concerned everyday matters in the running of the School. Unfortunately Council recommendations accepted by the President have not always been implemented The Council has again had to draw the attention of the President to the inadequate washing facilities and a motion passed in May concerning the removal of broken furniture from the corridors, although having the assent of the President has not yet been implemented.
Perhaps the greatest influence the Council has had on the life of the boys of the School resulted from the successful introduction of a motion that the money collected for the Swimming Pool Fund be donated to the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. This motion gained overwhelming support among the councillors, the President, while not accepting the motion in its entirety, suspended the Swimming Pool Fund for a limited period and the money normally donated to this was given to the Oxford Committee.
Other motions passed have resulted in changes in the accommodation of cycles and in the procedure for disciplining absent councillors.
The importance of the Council must be brought home to boys of the middle school as well as to those in authority: the Council is organised to hear the views of any boy in the School and, although it cannot guarantee any changes, any views expressed will be recorded in the minutes and brought to the attention of the President.
T. S. Goodes.


 

1964

Chairman: H. Morgan Secretary: B. Hayhow
How long can we tolerate the existence of an organisation which purports to express the sentiments of the community, and instead acts as a pulpit for the flaccid, egotistical ramblings of a score or so potential speakers?
We have endured the pretentious facade of the "council" with all its trivial banal trappings too long; its whole concept must be changed. If not, the formal expression of the School's mass inarticulacy will continue to be pandered to by the policy makers within the "Monoux Family" (sic).
The last school year has seen an abundance of trivial and facetious motions, most of which have been rejected. The standard of speaking is generally lamentable. There is a real NEED for serious discussion and debating societies, one thing is sure, the School Council is neither.
B. Hayhow.


 

 

1965

Chairman: B.A.B.Martin Vice-Chairman: R.N.Johnson
Secretary : J.A.Weinstein
As in other years the School Council has suffered from the usual crop of somewhat trivial motions and an unfortunate preoccupation with the constitution. As a result, meetings tend to degenerate into long, boring and inconsequential sessions with many Councillors becoming more and more apathetic. Despite-this, the School Council has more than justified itself with some very real and worthwhile achievements.
At the beginning of the year the perennial motion urging the total abolition of caps was at least partially accepted in that the Headmaster ruled that Fifth Formers need no longer wear caps. It was also upon our initiative that Friday morning journal periods should now be spent with tutorial rather than form masters. We feel that this is a right step in giving some meaning to the Tutorial House system.
Above all, however, is the Social Services Committee which was first established in September but which has only just started to function efficiently. The Committee has distributed the OXFAM Christmas Appeal Family Boxes while also helping with the Polio appeal envelopes.
We feel, however, that there is more to charity than even the most generous donations of money and it was for this reason that the School Council was pleased to associate itself actively with the work of a local Estate Agent, Mr. Glanville. He has already bought two Chingford houses, converting them into a number of self-contained flatlets for elderly people, and he hopes to extend the project throughout Waltham Forest. The function of Monovians is not so much to provide money for the scheme but rather to make personal contacts with the people, see to their various needs, do small jobs around the house and garden, or just keep them company. We have already established this personal contact for, immediately after the end of last term, two of us visited each flatlet with a substantial "Easter Box" largely made up of groceries including luxury goods as well as the basic necessities. We were. naturally enough, very well received.
Over the Easter holidays a large number of boys, many of whom are not members of the Council, volunteered to give up some of their time to prepare some more houses for future use.
In fact when the Headmaster appealed for eight volunteers we were very agreeably surprised when over 20 boys offered their services. Such a generous response indicated that by the time this report appears, the Social Services Committee will be playing a very important, and necessary, part in the activities of school life.
J. A. Weinstein. 6TLit.

Chairman : C. Glyde.
Vice-Chairman : M. E. Beresford.
Secretary : N. Dyson.
Under the leadership of Glyde the Council has become far more formal, a move which has met with general approval. An air of greater efficiency has been created and better attendance should produce better results. Unfortunately, owing to pressure of work, Weinstein was obliged to resign from his position as Secretary, early in this term. The thanks of the whole Council are due to him for his conscientious and efficient service during 1965.
Mainly dependent on Weinstein, the Social Services Committee has got off to a reasonable start since its foundation, instigated by the Headmaster, in November of 1964. This Committee has performed a few works of note such as the decorating of a flat and doing the shopping and gardening for some elderly or housebound people. We even helped the Chingford Lions Association, a greater organisation for Social Service, in the construction of a Carnival Float. With the establishment of the rota system this section of the School Council should become much more extensive and efficient. However, there is still a shortage of volunteers and, strangely enough, of work for them.
N. Dyson, VI 2G.


 

 

1967

Chairman: S. Cook
Secretary : A. J. Wilson

The School Council was founded so that the elected represen-tatives of the boys of the School could put forward, and discuss matters concerning the general running of the School or any other matters of importance connected with the School. Boys were elected because of their ability to discuss intelligently and sincerely any proposals given to them by their Form for discussion at a meeting of the Council. The Council held precedence over any other School activity. It held more power and responsibility than any other body of boys in the School. It was the means by which any member of the School could yet his views or recommendations discussed and passed to the Headmaster and Staff.
Why is it then, that the Council (which used to hold so much power) has sunk to its present level ?
Why is it that the majority of the School (including many representatives) are so completely apathetic towards the Council? Why do some representatives attend other clubs, meeting on the same night as the Council, rather than represent their form in the Council? Why is it that the majority of forms rely on a boy volunteering to go to the Council, rather than electing a representative ? Why is it that members of the School rarely get to hear of the business discussed at a Council meeting ?
There are many factors which could be blamed for this, the most notable being the Form election. Forms should elect someone who would really represent them, and put forward their views in the Council. A Form-meeting should be held a few days before a Council meeting so that the representative can find out what the views of his Form are. On the day after the meeting, the repre-sentative should report back to his Form all business discussed at the Council meeting.
The Council should strive to regain the position of power that it was intended it should hold. The apathetic nature of so many representatives must not be tolerated. Steps are being taken to rid the Council of this appalling uninterest. A motion has recently been passed saying that any member of the Council who is absent from two meetings in succession without informing the secretary beforehand, or without a reasonable excuse, will be expelled from the Council. At the beginning of the Spring Term, the previous secretary was sacked because he had shown himself unwilling to accept the responsibility of the position. The new chairman has done away with the tiresome formality that was the hallmark of the previous Councils, and debates have become lively and in-formal. Interest in the Council is slowly being aroused and any attempt to arouse it further must be encouraged. This year could prove a turning-point in the history of the School Council, and, if the Council is going to continue to exist, it must be a turning--point.
Representatives should ask themselves if they really do repre-sent. Forms should ask themselves if their representatives really do represent, and, if the answer is in the negative (as in the large majority of cases it would be) they must do their utmost to ensure that the position is remedied immediately. At the moment, the responsibility of thinking up motions and matters for discussion is carried almost invariably by one or two members of the Council, and this is undermining the basic idea of the Council, that of representation.
It appears traditional that in his report for the Monovian, the secretary of the School Council automatically refutes criticisms levelled at the Council. In the Christmas 1966 edition of the Monovian the following sentence appeared: "The School Council has been wrongly criticised for the high degree of formality that is characteristic of its meetings". This is not a wrong criticism. It is perfectly correct. The Council does have far too much formality. How can you expect a First Former to get up and speak to the Council when he is held in awe by the needless formality? The Council consists of boys who have left junior schools less than a year ago as well as young men soon entering university. Far more will be discussed, and far more satisfactory decisions reached if the debates are kept as informal as possible.
During the last few meetings debates have become more informal: the right atmosphere for discussion is beginning to emerge. The leaders of the Council are doing their utmost to improve its standards. The Council was started for the benefit of the boys of the School . . . and only with their backing can it hope to retain its position.
A. J. Wilson, 6iiG.


 

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)