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New head boy and head girl at Shirebrook Academy

Posted onPosted on 17th Dec

Students at a Shirebrook school made their own piece of history when they voted for their head boy and head girl via a virtual online ballot – and without setting foot outside their classrooms.

Shirebrook Academy used the power of technology for the first time in its history to ensure that the annual election could take place without any fear of spreading the coronavirus.

The school has put in place a host of measures to ensure that students and staff can continue to learn and teach safely, which meant that the usual electioneering and voting could not take place in person.

Instead the candidates – three boys and three girls – all made videos appealing for their classmates’ votes and the vote itself was carried out in school and over the internet via phones, laptops or tablets.

Despite a close and keenly fought contest, Year 11 students Dylan Thomas and Ellie Cheeseman were declared head boy and head girl for the 2020-21 academic year, accompanied by a team of ambassadors representing their year-groups on the school’s junior leadership team.

Mark Cottingham, principal at Shirebrook Academy, said: “The social distancing measures have led to so many things being cancelled this year so it was nice to be able to vote for the head boy and girl as usual.

“Normally the candidates canvass students in person around the school and everyone gets the chance to cast their vote in a ballot box, just as they will in a General Election, which adds a fun and educational element to it.

“We couldn’t do that this year but we’re delighted that Dylan and Ellie have been voted head boy and head girl. They are both excellent and inspirational leaders, and we’re pleased to say that the result was greeted warmly, without the kind of ill-feeling or legal challenges that we’ve seen elsewhere this month.”

Dylan said: “As head boy, it takes a huge amount of responsibility and determination and I am so happy that I have been chosen to fulfil them to the best of my ability. I really want to help the lives of other students and try and help them as much as I can.

“It also requires a set of skills to learn and gives me a new journey in my last year of school. It is also an absolute honour to represent my school with the role of being heady boy and it makes me happy that I am able to try and make a change in school.”

Ellie added: “The role of head girl requires dedication and full commitment and I’m willing to put my all into proving I can complete my final year of school as head girl to the best of my abilities.

“I want to be able to leave a great impact on the school just like all of the past head girls and boys did.

“Being head girl will not only mean I get to help the school, but it will also help me improve some other qualities such as organisation, in addition to this, I will get a greater understanding of how to take other people’s problems into consideration and be able to support them.

Pictured are Year 11 students Ellie Cheeseman and Dylan Thomas, who have been named head boy and head girl respectively for the 2020-21 academic year at Shirebrook Academy following an online vote.