Ingleburn Public School

Excel with Honour

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School Parliament


The first Ingleburn School Parliament was opened in 1992. It came into being to provide opportunities for student leadership within the school which was both effective in the short term and helped to prepare students for real life citizenship.

The initial makeup of the parliament was based on a two party system. Each party was named after elements of the school motto – Excel and Honour. The parties were comprised of a Leader, Deputy Leader and seven Ministers (Education, Communication, Transport, Functions, Health and Safety, Lands and Environment and Sport and Recreation). The Office Bearers also included two Mace Bearers, two Sergeant at Arms, Speaker, Treasurer, Secretary and Governor General's Reporter. All these positions were Year 6 students and were elected by the Primary School body. The school's Principal filled the Governor General's position and has always had power of veto over the Parliament (though this has rarely been invoked).

Since then, the Parliament has played an active role in all areas of school life. Minor changes have been implemented from time to time to make sure that the Parliament is kept relevant and reflective of the objectives and values of Ingleburn Public School.

How it Works

Each year at the beginning of Term 1, Year 6 students are encouraged to nominate themselves as a candidate for Parliamentary Minister. Following a short campaign period (3-4days) all candidates present their election speech to the Stage 3 student body. Voting then takes place through a secret ballot immediately after the speeches and each student from Years 3 to Year 6 choose three students on the ballot paper. The top 23 students fill the positions of the Parliament.

The first 17 students fill the Ministerial positions and that of Speaker. The Stage 3 teachers choose from these students a candidate for the position of Speaker and then they are offered that role. The next six students fill the positions of the two Mace Bearers, two Sergeants at Arms, Treasurer and Governor General's Reporter. The teacher in charge of Parliament keeps a record of all the reserves in the eventuality that a student leaves or is removed from their portfolio.

The two parties, Excel and Honour are formed, splitting the votes down the middle eg. all odd positions 1st, 3rd, 5th etc become Excel and even positions 2nd, 4th, 6th etc become Honour. Two teacher mentors are also appointed, one to work with each party. The Parliamentary Class teachers have the responsibility of forming the two parties, and reserve the right to move children into or out of Parties, such as when a Party consists of mainly one sex or one class. The Parties then meet with their mentoring teacher and discuss and assign Portfolios for each Minister.

In 2008, it was decided to hold elections to determine a Government and Opposition Party. Three students from each party were nominated by their party colleagues to present a short speech to Years 3 to 6 students and teachers outlining their party's policies. The students then vote for either Excel or Honour again in a secret ballot. (To ensure that all students have the opportunity to be in power and therefore undertake the responsibilities involved Government and Opposition will swap at the beginning of Term 3).

School Parliament meets every second Wednesday afternoon for 45 minutes with the Parliamentary Parties and Office Bearers on the stage and all other Years 5 and 6 students (who are the Members of the House) are seated on chairs facing the stage.

Motions which are presented at School Parliament have first been passed through Class Parliaments which run on the alternate Wednesday and which are designed to complement and consolidate all students understanding of the processes involved.