Run a Student Representative Council election

Updated 6 May 2016

You could use an SRC election as a teaching tool for understanding and valuing what it means to be a citizen within a democracy.

This whole-of-school project fits in with the Active Citizenship component of the Early Adolescence Band of Development of the Curriculum Framework Essential Learning Achievement No 22.

Use the processes of an election as an opportunity to discuss in a classroom situation:

  • the meaning of representation in an elected body;
  • the role of an election in an accountable democracy;
  • what makes a democratic school;
  • the role of parties and independents in an election;
  • the importance of fair and open elections with impartial electoral officials; and
  • which citizenship projects the school could participate in within a community.

Before conducting an SRC election we recommend putting into effect rules that will ensure a fair and open process for the students.

Election processes to be followed can be found here.

Conduct the election by:

  1. Determining the rules for the eligibility to nominate for the SRC. Your school needs to put in writing the requirements for a student to be an acceptable school representative;
  2. Providing the option for students to form parties with groups of like minded individuals or to nominate as independents;
  3. Encouraging campaigning as parties or as individuals;
  4. Conducting the election like a parliamentary election with a demonstrated commitment to a secret ballot and a result that must be respected;
  5. Marking rolls, issuing ballot papers and using voting screens;
  6. Instructing that the ballot paper be filled in by the students using numbers, according to the instructions on the ballot paper;
  7. Using the same instructions on the ballot papers as are used in your state or territory or those of the federal election; and
  8. Having students (except those who are candidates in the election) act as polling officials in the polling place and to assist in counting the votes at the completion of the election.

After the election, why not:

  • Make an occasion of announcing the result and explain the role of the elected members of the SRC to the whole school;
  • Encourage the SRC members and appropriate staff attend a camp/meeting to establish its role within the school and the community;
  • Suggest the SRC attend a workshop at the ACT Legislative Assembly to learn about representation and how to conduct meetings where all participants have an equal say;
  • Negotiate for the SRC to have a real role in establishing the culture of the school by having a say in some school administration;
  • Have members of the SRC represent the school at outside functions; and
  • Have the SRC decide on  a project, for the school as a whole, which it sees as needing democratic action at a local or wider level.

All the documents needed to run your own SRC election can be found here. Elections ACT has developed this series of template documents for nomination forms, ballot papers, sorting cards and scrutiny sheets, with full instructions in accordance with standard rules for single-member elections, and for multi-member elections using the Hare-Clark electoral system. Both systems use optional preferential voting.

Elections ACT can assist you in preparing an election or running it on the day or by providing voting equipment. Contact Elections ACT.