October 2, 2014

Desmond College’s new, and long standing, members were given a 4-hour intensive workshop in the role and responsibility of a student council in contemporary education today.

The training was given by Donal Fitzgibbon (LCETB leadership/committee facilitator), supported by Vourneen Gavin Barry (Principal) and also attended by Keith O’Rahilly (Student Council Liaison).

Donal provided a lively, interactive training on the attributes of leadership and the role young people can play in positively influencing their peers in secondary school. Using collaborative methodologies, Donal challenged the students to develop areas for school development, with the potential to be looked at closer during the year in collaboration with the wider school community.

Students were asked to list and prioritise the attributes of a good leader and reflect on their understanding of what it is to be a leader. A key module of his training was to encourage students to provide feedback to the wider school population about today’s training and to continue the practice of giving feedback and encouraging engagement from the student population of Desmond College.

There were opportunities for council members to practice presenting information to the group during the session and support was given on communication skills. To conclude the day, Donal gave a detailed and clear account of the role, structure and procedures for members and student council meetings for the coming year and into the future. To this end the council had their first meeting of the year and democratically elected the new chairperson Emma Herbert and other officers into their perspective roles for 2014-15.

All in all it was an inspiring day in Desmond College, not only to hear Donal Fitzgibbon’s genuine philosophy of leadership and seeing it in practice, but also observing how our students responded through purposeful engagement and showing their desire to take responsibility and ownership of Desmond College and its future.

Students from Desmond College and the Gaelcholaiste Ui Chonba who are on the Student Council 2014-2015