With Mrs Scott, the Head Teacher, casting almost the last vote, the elections for Head Boy and Girl have just taken place in St Luke’s High. Now that the campaigning is done, the cakes, gifted to voters by candidates, have been gratefully eaten and all the votes have been cast, another, more important process begins.
One of the Head Girl candidates visited my office this morning with a tray of beautiful, freshly baked cupcakes. I took the opportunity to chat to her, having read her manifesto beforehand. She was a late entry to the race and I wondered why.
She explained that she wants to study medicine but is naturally quite a shy girl and doesn’t like the limelight. She understands that being accepted for medicine requires much more than straight As in her highers, which she has already achieved. Even although she was very nervous about putting herself forward, she wanted to challenge herself to be more confident and assertive and to repay the school for everything they had supported her to achieve in the last five years.
Anyone who has had a hand in helping this young woman to get to where she is should be feeling very proud indeed. To give her what she needs to step into the unknown, in order to become more confident and responsible, so she can hopefully realise her goal of becoming a doctor, is what good teachers do every day.
Even if she doesn’t win the election, I’m pretty sure she will win in the long run.
This is happening in all of our secondaries and indeed, in secondary schools up and down the country. It’s much more than just democracy and is a key part of learning for life. And schools are at the very heart of it. Isn’t it just wonderful to be making such a difference.