Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children and young people have the “right to express views freely in all matters affecting them”. This includes views and opinions on schooling. Second-Level Students’ are at the heart of ISSU and their interests’ is the ground beneath which the ISSU stands.So what exactly is the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union?

The main object for which the ISSU is established is to contribute to the advancement of second-level education of all second-level students in order to improve and enrich the education of each student and to support the involvement of students at all stages of their education, so that they achieve their full potential and as responsible citizens, to improve society. The ISSU is a not-for-profit, student rights’ organisation here to represent you, the second-level students of Ireland!

We are the national umbrella body for school Student Councils, aiming to represent and connect Irish second-level students the length and breadth of the country, ensuring that the voice of the Irish second-level student is heard and striving for innovation and democracy within the education system. Students should not be feared as “revolutionaries” wanting to undermine the system; students want to become actively involved in the decision making process at a local and national level and hence to become stakeholders in their own future.


  • To develop policies on issues affecting Irish second-level students and represent and rights of Students
  • To provide a transparent, democratic and reliable organisation
  • To support, and provide training for the development of second-level school Student Councils
  • To work closely with educational curriculum policy makers and Education Partners to continually develop a transparent, fair and modern education system
  • To work in collaboration with other educational and youth institutions and bodies both in Ireland, and Europe
  • And most importantly, to give Students a structured platform through which the voice of the Irish Second-level Students will be heard


The ISSU works with the Department of Education and Skills and the various Second-Level partners and advisory agencies advocating for and ensuring students have a voice on key issues affecting them. We are also affiliated to; the ESRI, the WHEEL, the NYCIAnna Lindh FoundationStand up for Education AllianceChildren’s Mental Health Coalition, and the Children’s Rights Alliance. On a European level ISSU works with OBESSU and the European Commission.