Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Guest Article: An Address from the Head Boy

Now, I may not be this year’s Head Boy, in spite of the title, but I was one of the many who had to sit through the new one’s rousing speech about education. Now, kudos to the guy; Head Boy is not a post to be sniffed at, but some of the things he said didn’t somewhat ring true to my ears.

Firstly, our new student leader said that he was an interface between students and teachers, a person to contact if you had issues or ideas, whether they are small or big, so that those ideas can be realised. Now, however decrepit and useless, at least, from the point of view of the school, the Student Council are supposed to be our interface with the school, which begs why we need to talk to a Year 13 when there are two other students from every other year including our own. Also, we are students of a school, not a large multinational; if we want to ‘interface’ with a teacher, we can go up to them and speak to them, interface to interface. We need not a student middle man, a chat to a member of the management is just one untucked shirt away.

When it comes to ideas in this school, the students have a large amount of them (many unfeasible, but oh well), but very few ever take them further than a pipe dream (smoked up, most probably, behind that red-and-Perspex palace that is the back of the bike-sheds). Like with teachers, like with any school, Hampstead has a proposal system wherein both students and teachers can put forward ideas for judgement by the school management (this is all on their website). Anytime a teacher has taken us on a trip, a few months beforehand the school would have received a memo from them detailing what they want to do and how they want to do it. Now, if a student was to do this, it would be germane to get a teacher or member of staff to help co-ordinate, and they would provide the help with ideas needed, if any help were.

It’s not looking too good for the Head Boy and Head Girl, which is a shame for such a prestigious title. After him describing his new obsolete position, he went on to tell us not to miss out, not to be late to period 1, period 2, 3, 4 and 5, just as the rolling sound of footsteps of the rest of the school moving towards period 1 passed us by, the unexpected plea gaining instant irony in making us late.

Then we were introduced to this year’s Head of Prefects, two other students that described themselves to have exactly the same jobs as the Head Boy & Girl, without the prestige of being Head Boy and Girl. The introduction of this second-rate post, I can only assume, stemmed out of a lack of positions to put on UCAS forms and a general sense of bureaucracy.

So, once again, the Head Students (as they should probably collectively be known) are reduced to simply being role models for the lower school, which is a tall order. I shan’t name names, that would be cruel and unbrotherly, but many of the Head Students, past and present, have been far from perfect role models (and justly so; they are humans just like us), by the school’s standard or the country’s. Remember N. O. White and R. A. Scism?
-Jack Mehoff

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