2. Have a say in your workplace and vocational school: What can you do?

Student representation (SV)

There are class and school spokespeople at most vocational schools. The student council, as it is sometimes called, should actively represent students’ interests in dealings with teachers and school management, and potentially also the school council. The student council could, for instance, deal with the topic of cancelled lessons or provide suggestions for better lesson planning.

Although participation rights are often strongly limited at schools, the student council has many tasks:

  • Collect ideas and suggestions from students about the school design (e.g. school yard) or everyday issues, and actively represent these
  • Support and organise events, projects, work groups etc
  • Support students with school conflicts (problems with teachers, disciplinary measures, expulsion etc)
  • In some states, the school council also decides about the purchase of textbooks and the school’s focal points (e.g. school programme).

To make sure your class spokesperson can represent your interests, you should know what topics are discussed at school council meetings. That’s why you should regularly take the time to discuss the problems within your vocational school, and come up with arguments together to solve them.

As the quality of your training depends on the quality of your vocational school, DGB-Jugend has come up with a set of guidelines for pupil representation. You can find plenty of practical tips on our website www.jugend.dgb.de about student representation and public campaigns. The youth union also offers seminars for members of student councils – just get in touch to find out more.

 Works council or staff council