Student Voice

At North Durham Academy student voice and student leaders are invaluable. Students are offered a number of ways to share their views, raise concerns, improve the life of the school and participate in roles that allow their leadership skills to develop. Our aim is to make every student understand that their voice is heard and respected. Students are given many opportunities to become student leaders at North Durham Academy in a number of different roles:


16+ Ambassadors

16+ Ambassadors are involved in Academy life supporting and guiding younger students in a variety of ways and represent the Academy in a number of different academic, pastoral, sporting, performing, work related and business opportunities.

These students are encouraged to develop their leadership skills through these opportunities.

  • Academy Job Board – post 16 students are given the opportunity to apply for jobs in the Academy.
  • Volunteer Job Board – students are given the opportunity to support the local community and develop their skills required for further education and the workplace.
  • Coordinating Year Council teams, working directly with Prefects, Junior Prefects and Key staff.


Head Boy and Head Girl

These positions are introduced in Year 10 when students are appointed as Deputy Head Boy and Girl through a competitive interview process.  Both students represent the Academy’s ethos of excellence and represent the Academy when required and are selected from those applying to be Student Leaders.  If the appointed students fulfil their roles they are then promoted to Head Girl and Boy in Year 11. 

Head Girl - Melissa Walker

Head Boy - Ryan Wilkinson



Each Prefect has a specific role covering an important aspect of Academy life, working with key members of staff and all Year Councils throughout the year. Roles include:

  • Anti-bullying
  • Charity and Fund raising
  • Sporting event promotion of participation
  • Events promoter and organiser
  • Teaching and Learning Focus group
  • Transition
  • Technical, video and audio communication


Prefects receive training to support them in their roles and responsibilities and are also involved in:

  • Supporting the LRC
  • Supporting vulnerable students at break and in form tutor time
  • Supporting extra-curricular PE
  • Supporting Parents’ Evenings and Open Evenings
  • Peer mediation
  • Interviewing skills for potential new staff
  • Public speaking
  • Literacy and numeracy support for KS3
  • Encouraging student voice through active involvement in Year Council meetings

The Academy provides distinctive Prefect/Junior Prefect badges so that students can be easily identified by all members of staff.  


Year Councils

Each Year Council is made up of 2 student reps from each tutor group that meet half termly with their designated 16+ Ambassador, Prefects, Year Manager and Achievement Leader to raise particular issues that concern their year group. The results of these are disseminated in form tutor time and in assembly where appropriate.

Job Role:

  • Take responsibility for sharing the views of students about life within the Academy with staff and other groups.
  • Enthusiastically promote the views of students in their Year group, maximising student contributions.
  • Organise information and presentations to share their feelings with students and staff in their year group.
  • Develop own leadership skills to maximise involvement in school affairs, and then help others improve theirs.
  • Plan assemblies and form tutor time to share ideas and outcomes.
  • Create a positive culture within their year group and throughout the Academy to promote a sense of pride.


Student Leadership Team

Representatives from each year group sit on the Academy Council. These will be representatives from the Year Councils, House Captains, Head Boy and Head Girl and other guest speakers where appropriate. They will meet the Vice Principal and other key staff to raise whole school issues that they feel need addressing. The results of these will be disseminated in form tutor time and assemblies where appropriate.


Transition Team

The Transition team plays an important role in North Durham Academy supporting the Year 6 students in making the transition to Year 7. They provide advice and guidance to new students about the transition and represent the Academy at the Year 6 Open evenings. This continues with the support they offer to Year 7 students in the early stage of their Academy life. The skills and qualities they need are:

  • Be personable, enthusiastic and positive
  • Be friendly and approachable with strong communication skills
  • Be sensitive to others’ needs and feelings
  • Be able to work as part of a team.

To continue support for students at NDA while they make key transitions in their life there will also be a smaller transition team working with students making the transition into sixth form. The same skills as above are required but they will also focus on informing students what sixth form life is like and the opportunities available.


Academy Ground Crew

These students are self-nominated and assist in the general day-to-day running of the school. 

Roles may include: 

  • Discussing issues and suggesting solutions within GC team, assisted by the Deputy Head Boy, Deputy Head Girl and a nominated 16+ Ambassador
  • Monitoring school building out of lesson time
  • Reporting damage to staff
  • Report untoward behaviour to staff
  • Litter management
  • Assist in setting up for and attending Academy events


Leadership in the classroom

These students are self-motivated and are good role models for other students.  They may volunteer or be asked by their teachers to help teachers set up for lessons; help organise class books, give out additional equipment, read to class or lead group work.

These students are rewarded using the NDA reward system.