All you need to know about your application

Entries for the 2016 competition open on Monday 22 February and close on Monday 16 May.

To start preparing for this year's competition you can refer to the FAQs below and the resources page.

It’s easy to enter the Speaker’s School Council Awards, you simply need to be able to tell us about a School Council project you're proud of. Whatever your student council's project or achievement, we want to hear about it. There are three ways you can do this when the competition opens:

  • Register and complete the online application form. A member of your school's teaching or administrative staff must complete the registration and will be responsible for your online account but either a teacher or student can complete the entry questions
  • Post the application form
  • Email the application form

Every infant, primary, secondary and special school in the UK is eligible to enter. Student, learner and sixth form colleges are also eligible.

A winning school council is selected from each of the four age categories:

  • Infant age (4-7)
  • Junior age (8-11)
  • Secondary age (12-16)
  • Young adults (17-19)

Other ways to get involved:

 Not sure about entering the competition? You can send us a blog entry, a ‘top tip’, or an image instead.


Submitting my application form

What information do I need to complete my entry?

You'll need:

  • A good understanding and knowledge of the project you're entering
  • Knowledge of who was involved
  • Details of how you made your project work
  • Information about the project, both within and outside the school – what did it achieve? Who did it help? Has it led to anything else?

Can students complete the awards entry form?

A member of your school's teaching or administrative staff must take overall responsibility for entering your school council and, if you are submitting the form online, they will need to register. However, the entry questions may be completed by either a teacher or a pupil. Effective applications are often from student council reps working with a relevant teacher.

What if my school has more than one student council?

Multiple councils from one school can each submit an entry but the application contact on each entry must be different.

If the members of my school council belong to lots of different age groups, which category should I submit my entry to?

If a majority of students on your school council fall into one specific age range, enter your application into that category. Alternatively you can enter your application into the category which reflects the average age of the students on your school council.

Can inter-school councils apply?

Yes. You can apply, if you run a school council with a neighbouring school, but you must pick a lead school to represent all members of the council. You should complete the application form jointly, but the lead school will register and submit the entry and be the main contact.

Our project has made a big difference, but it’s not finished – can we still enter it?

Yes. We're most interested in the difference your student council has made in your school or community, rather than whether or not your project has finished, but you will have to tell us about the impact it has made so far. The project should have been started this academic year.

Can we submit photos?

Yes, you can submit up to five photos. There will be an opportunity to upload them if you complete the online form. You will be advised as to the full details regarding file size and type on the form. If you are submitting via email please attach them to your email, or attach them to your postal application.  

Is there any cost to enter the Awards?

No – the competition is free of charge to enter and the awards day is also free.

Can I start an application, and come back to it at a later date?

If you are completing the form online, you will be asked to register. This will enable you to save your progress and return to your form at any time before the deadline by just logging back in.

What if I have problems completing the form?

If you have any problems completing the application form, you can contact the SSCA team on 020 7219 6260.

Logging in

Why haven't I received my login details and password?

When you've registered your school/college you'll receive a confirmation email from us which will include your login details and password.If you haven't received your email please check your spam/junk mail folders. If you find us in your spam please take us out and add to your address book.If you still can't find your email then contact us at or call us on 020 7219 6260.

I've forgotten my username/password. What can I do?

Follow the 'forgot your password?' link on the login form and enter your email address when prompted. An automatic email will be sent to you containing a temporary password. You can then log in and change your password to something memorable. If you get really stuck or have forgotten your username or email, please contact us.

I’ve entered before – can I use the same login details?

No. We have launched our new Speakers School Council Awards website this year which means you will need to set up a new account.

After I have submitted my application form

How do I know you have received my application form?

If you are submitting online you will receive an automated email confirming that we have received your application. If you are submitting by email or by post you will receive an email from the Speaker’s School Council Awards team.

What is the closing date for entries?

The closing date for entries will be Monday 16 May 2016.

When will we know the results?

Results will be announced one month after the competition close date. The closing date is Monday 16 May 2016.

Judging and awards

Once we submit our entry form, how is it assessed?

The judging panel, which will include the Speaker of the House of Commons, will assess how successfully each entry meets with the judging criteria:

  • Democracy - Whose idea was the project? Was the whole school council involved? Did the school council consult other students? Did you work with people outside the school – if you did, how did you involved them in planning and decision making?
  • Objectives – Did you have clear aims for your project – what were they?  How did you plan the project? How did you put your plans into action? Were there clear roles and responsibilities for the people involved? How did you communicate with everyone involved in the project?
  • Evaluation –Did your project achieve its aims? What impact did it have? Who benefitted? How did you find out how successful your project was?

Do larger, more expensive projects have an advantage?

No. A diverse range of projects - both large and small - are entered every year. What matters is that the project was student-led and made a real difference.

How many winners are selected?

Four schools will win a Speaker's School Council Award, one for each of the four age categories. Runners up will receive a commemorative plaque for their school. Every school that takes the time to tell us about a project will receive a web badge to display on their website.

When is the awards ceremony?

The SSCA  awards ceremony will be held in June 2016 - date to be confirmed. Winners last year were invited to the Houses of Parliament where they were presented with a trophy by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Please check back for details on SCCA 2015/6 awards ceremony.

Who runs the Speaker's School Council Awards?

Parliament's Education Service run the SSCA on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Commons.