It was interesting to note that only around 30% of Debretts top 500 most influential Britons this year were female.
On Friday afternoon I attended our regular Student Voice meeting, chaired ably by Katie, our Head Girl. Our Student Voice representatives meet with their Head of Year on a monthly basis and then I meet with Year Representatives every Half Term. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss ideas about how their school and community can be further developed. Over the years, Student Voice has contributed hugely towards improving the school environment, developing the student planner and locker system, enhancing the catering and uniform, along with further refining our curriculum. I always find these meetings pleasurable and a great insight into how our students think and feel about both the school and our local community. The purpose of Friday’s meeting was to plan a Student Voice conference that we will host in March, for other schools to share Student Voice projects, with a particular emphasis on how we can further involve the elderly in our schools. As always, my girls did not let me down! They developed a great concept and one that I know will be very successful. It never ceases to amaze me how our youngsters are so thoughtful and considerate of others – yet, this is in sharp contrast as to how teenagers are so often portrayed in the press as selfish and disinterested. I know that the very large majority of our students are keen to be aware of their local community and that they will actively engage in activities to promote the well-being of others. This was reinforced in the planning of their Student Voice conference. I really will look forward to seeing their ideas come to fruition.
The concept of Student Voice has made me think about how important it is for our youngsters to feel confident to speak up and have their voices heard. We have numerous projects for our students: Extended Learning Lectures, Public Speaking, Eco Schools, Debating Club, annual hustings and voting for the Sixth Form Senior Prefect team and a wide range of activities in the curriculum, from speaking and listening projects in Languages, English and Business to Government and Politics A Level. In addition to this, we regularly encourage students to enter competitions and become involved in community projects. On this note, we are very proud that Harriet in Year 12, has just been successful in the ‘Shadow Helen Grant, MP competition.’ These are all great examples of our students’ commitment towards engaging in the local community and having ‘a voice.’
Interestingly, only 30% of Debretts top 500 most influential Britons this year were female. The Debrett’s 500 is a positive endorsement and recognition of Britain’s 500 most influential people. So, I advocate that we will continue to develop the notion of ‘Student Voice’ and encourage all our girls to ensure that their voices are heard. Our thoughtful and insightful girls have so much to offer and as such, we will always ensure that this is a priority.