Thank God it's Friday

20th June 2003 at 01:00
Monday This is a special week when we elect the new head girl for September. Originally, 17 candidates applied and were interviewed by a panel of three adults. Now we are down to the last four, who must write their manifestoes, find an agent and set their campaigns in action.

Tuesday To add authenticity, we hire ballot boxes and polling booths from the city council. Office staff produce voting cards and ballot papers for pupils and staff, and for every governor who has a postal vote. One Year 7 girl watches the polling booths arrive. "What's that little pencil for, Miss?"

Wednesday The four candidates address lower-school assembly. I listen to their presentations with pride; then I hear Nikki end with "so vote for me and I'll get you loads of discos".

Thursday Rehearsals all day for the school orchestra concert. I listen to Nikki, who is a drummer and who will be performing her own composition.

When she plays, the sticks disappear in a white haze. "You could play at Ronnie Scott's," I tell her as a compliment. Blank look. "Who?" The concert is superb - one of those when a head is so proud that the end-of-performance speech does not do justice to the performers.

Friday The chair of governors arrives to act as polling clerk-cum-returning officer. The girls file in with their voting cards and make their important crosses. He goes off to count when all votes are cast and postal votes collected, . Four anxious girls hover. Eventually the chair returns and I take him to the Year 10 girls. They look at me. I shrug in innocence.

"Nikki is your new head girl," he announces. Nikki, drummer and advocate of discos with the boys' school. I look forward to working with her.

Gill Pyatt is head of Barnwood Park school, Gloucester

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