What happens in the meetings?
It’s up to our student reps and chairs so it’s different every week! If we’re launching a campaign, we’ll discuss ideas about how to run and promote it (often in breakout rooms). We might hear from students about an initiative they’re working on that they want others to be involved in too. Sometimes we have guest student and adult speakers to tell us about national and international campaigns. We're always delighted when students get in touch (via Teams or [email protected]) with an item for the agenda.
When are the meetings held?
Meetings are held on Zoom from 6.30-7.30pm every other Thursday. Meeting dates are published on Teams a few weeks before the start of each school term. Zoom links are shared on Teams and in an email to LSEN reps and staff shortly before the meeting. We encourage students to have their cameras on during Zoom calls - it makes the meeting feel so much more sociable when we can all see one another! The Zoom calls are recorded onto the Cloud (only for safeguarding purposes) and deleted after two months.
Are there face to face events?
As we’re spread across a large city we hold the majority of our meetings on Zoom but we do hold face to face events, the details of which are published well in advance. We also regularly share in-person opportunities for students on Teams, via email and in meetings, and encourage others to share information about relevant events they’ve come across.
How much do I need to know about the climate crisis and sustainability?
Fear not - there is no entrance exam! We welcome everyone and fully appreciate that we are all at different stages of learning about the climate crisis and sustainability. We love that our LSEN reps have a wide range of interests, subjects studied, personalities and levels of expertise - it's what makes our meetings and campaigns so vibrant.
How are LSEN student reps chosen?
Many schools have the role of LSEN student rep as a position in their Environment Committee, but it is up to each school how they choose their LSEN reps. We suggest that LSEN schools have a minimum of two LSEN reps from Years 8-13 (and we appreciate that Year 11 and 13 students may have less availability!). Students who apply to be LSEN reps should ensure their Thursday evenings are generally free for meetings! Some schools may choose to have three or four reps in total and have a rotation schedule to ensure someone is able to attend each meeting. Students who have been selected by their schools as LSEN reps must return a completed parental consent form in order to receive emails, be invited to meetings and have access to our Microsoft Teams collaboration space. Some LSEN reps may also have the opportunity to represent LSEN at meetings and events run by the wider UK Schools Sustainability Network and other organisations.
How many LSEN student reps attend each meeting?
Usually between fifteen to twenty-five students but we’re welcoming new schools all the time! We ask that no more than two students from each school attend each meeting (unless additional students are involved in presenting items on the agenda) so we keep a good balance of students from different schools.
Do student reps have to attend every meeting?
There is no requirement to attend every meeting - we understand that students are busy people! - but we encourage you to attend as many as possible. Ideally one rep from each LSEN school will attend every meeting as we often work on campaigns over a number of weeks, so some continuity in attendance is useful. Students who are unable to attend meetings can still get involved by reading the minutes and action plans and getting involved on Microsoft Teams.
What do LSEN reps do during meetings?
The LSEN meetings are for students and led by students so we encourage active involvement by all! Students should contribute as much as they feel comfortable doing. They can do so by putting up their virtual hand in Zoom, writing a message in the chat box or simply speaking! The student chair will manage the discussion to ensure everyone who wants to contribute is able to do so. We often have sections of the meetings in breakout rooms so smaller groups can chat. Occasionally members of LSEN staff need to speak during meetings but adults are only really present to manage the tech, keep an eye on safety and make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes!
How are student meeting leads chosen?
Students (and their teachers!) are very much encouraged to get in touch with the LSEN Staff Chair Miss Chapman (via Teams or [email protected]) if they would like to lead a meeting. One student will need to be the chair and another will need to take minutes. Miss Chapman keeps a record of who has led meetings to ensure there is a fair representation of LSEN schools. Although it may seem daunting, this is an ideal forum to practise these critical workplace skills amongst supportive peers and staff, and everyone always finds it a useful (and even fun!) experience. Meeting leads are sent additional information about agenda items before the meeting and then it’s up to them to run it how they wish! Chairs need to ensure everyone who wants to be involved in discussions is heard (by keeping an eye on the Zoom chat box and virtual ‘hands up’) and they also keep an eye on timings to ensure we cover all agenda items. Minute takers need to keep careful records of what was discussed and what action is to be taken and by whom.
How do LSEN reps use Microsoft Teams?
Once LSEN reps have returned their completed parental consent forms they will receive an email which adds them to our LSEN Microsoft Team, along with a member of staff from their own school. This is an online collaboration space which is very similar to Slack, Google Classroom and other internet forums. Only LSEN reps and LSEN staff are members of our Team. We find this to be a really useful tool which allows us to work together during and in between meetings. We keep discussions organised in different channels where members can post comments and reply to other posts. We also use it like an online noticeboard, posting information about interesting articles and events. Additionally, we can upload files and work together on them at the same time. Teams is a really powerful tool and we encourage all our LSEN reps and staff to use it to its fullest extent!
How can students take ideas from the LSEN into their schools?
Although only a few students from each school are represented in the LSEN we know they are really keen that the benefits of membership are felt by their whole school community. Often, LSEN reps report back to their school Environment Committees during their meetings to ensure many more students hear about our work. Our campaigns are designed with schools in mind - we've previously recorded assemblies, planned form times, made quizzes and written letters to be shared with students, staff and parents.
If you would like to know more about Transform Our World, the UK Schools Sustainability Networks or any of our programmes, please get in touch.
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The Transform Our World team
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