Head girl and head boy
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Head boy and head girl are roles of prominent representative student responsibility. The terms are commonly used in the British education system and in private schools throughout the Commonwealth organisations.
United Kingdom and Ireland
In some British schools, the pupil body elects a head boy and/or a head girl from the pupils/students. Head boys and head girls are usually responsible for representing the school at events, and therefore must be able to make public speeches. They also serve as a good role model for students, and share pupils' ideas with the school's leadership. He or she may also be expected to lead fellow prefects in their duties. Deputy head boys and girls may also be appointed, taking on the day-to-day management of the prefects in some institutions, as well as looking after the school and creating a link between teachers and pupils. Some schools in the UK have abolished the positions of head boy and head girl entirely, instead having replaced them with a single role of "head pupil".
Other Commonwealth countries
Some schools in Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, UAE and Malaysia, and many in the Commonwealth Caribbean, as well as South Africa, New Zealand and Canada, follow the same system as that in the United Kingdom, having a head girl and head boy or head prefect, a vice-head girl/boy, prefects, house captains, monitors and class representatives. The head girl and boy assist the teachers and administration of the school. Nigerian and Ghanaian schools follow a similar system although some schools appoint a head prefect or senior prefect and assistant senior prefect. Another term used is "Senior Ring" (for boys) and "Senior Pin" (for girls), which is used in some schools such as Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
In Australia, the system is much the same as that of the United Kingdom. Almost all public secondary schools will have a student council with each year group having elected representatives. The head boy and head girl are generally the "chair" of this council and will represent the school on a government or community level and will represent the students at the school level.
Class or school president is a similar position; these are commonly found in elementary and secondary schools in the United States and Canada and may or may not necessarily be gender-specific.
Notable head boys and girls
- Gethin Anthony, best known for portraying Renly Baratheon in HBO's Game of Thrones, was head boy at Tiffin School
- Hayley Atwell, best known for appearing as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger, was head girl at Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls' School
- Amy Childs, best known for appearing in the reality television soap opera TOWIE, was head girl at Raphael Independent School
- Jenna Coleman, best recognized for her roles as Clara Oswald in the British television series Doctor Who and as Queen Victoria in Victoria, was head girl of Arnold School
- Jo Cox, former British MP for Batley and Spen, was head girl at Heckmondwike Grammar School
- Kezia Dugdale, Former Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, was head girl at Harris Academy
- Christopher Eccleston, best known for his role as the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who, was head boy of Joseph Eastham High School, Salford.
- Rebecca Hall, English actress, was head girl at Roedean School
- Jeremy Hunt, British politician and Secretary of State for Health, was head boy of Charterhouse School
- Joe Hart, English football goalkeeper for Manchester City F.C., was head boy at Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury
- Kajol, Bollywood actress, was head girl at St Joseph Convent boarding school in Panchgani
- Richie McCaw, captain of the All Blacks, was head prefect (and proxime accessit) at Otago Boys' High School
- J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, was head girl at Wyedean School and College
- Matt Smith, best known for his role as The Doctor in the British television series Doctor Who, was head boy at Northampton School for Boys
- Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was head girl of Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School
- Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent of the British Throne, was head boy at Gordonstoun School
- Leigh-Anne Pinnock, member of Little Mix, was head girl at Sir William Ramsay School
- Claire Balding, award-winning broadcaster, was head girl at Downe House School, Newbury
- Manik Singhal, a two-time national level abacus winner, was the head boy of Our Lady of Fatima Convent High School, India.