Last week we interviewed for our new Girls’ Leadership Group and selected the next Head Girl of Bedford Girls’ School. Being Head Girl is a challenging role. Not only do they act as a role model for younger pupils and represent the public image of a BGS girl, they must be adept listeners who can bring about change in response to the voice of students while balancing this with a mature understanding of the values and purpose of the school.
Such a demanding role requires a broad range of skills. In addition to reviewing their application forms we spend a day looking for specific skills, testing each candidate through a series of tasks and activities such as an in-tray activity, an interview, a five minute presentation and ambassadorial skills such as entertaining outside guests.
All the girls shine in different ways and choosing the candidate with the most complete skill set is challenging. We are fortunate to have such a talented pool, but appointing just one Head Girl means that many girls who would thrive in the role have to learn the difficult lesson of resilience when they have not been selected.
Today, we are asking more and more of our young leaders. I believe strongly that schools should lead the way in educating for a better world and that our young leaders should be at the vanguard of these changes – driving the agendas for a progressive, compassionate and strong global community where progress, creative thinking and innovation take centre stage to the collective benefit of us all.
The outgoing Girls’ Leadership Group certainly did this, campaigning for a culture of kindness, supporting the rights of women to be educated, getting up to dance for the one billion rising campaign and embodying the Bedford Girls’ School values of Bold, Imaginative and Reflective in way in which they can be truly proud, as, indeed, we are of them.
Our next Girls’ Leadership Group will build on the legacy of their predecessors to take on their own campaigns and to ensure their voices, and the wider student voice, are not simply listened to but heard. I look forward to working with them over their tenure and seeing how each girl shapes their role to the betterment of the group, to make a positive difference to the lives of others.