Abbot’s Lea School Appoints New Head Boy and Head Girl

 Woolton-based Abbot’s Lea School has appointed a new Head Boy and Head Girl as part of its commitment to promoting student leadership.

Ryan Griffiths (16) will fulfil the role of Head Boy and Saoirse Redmond (16) will be Head Girl. They take over from the last year’s successors: Dan Houghton and Chantelle Nicklin-Harvey.

Situated on Beaconsfield Road, Abbot’s Lea School specialises in high quality education for students with Autism and a range of associated learning needs.

Mrs Ania Hildrey, the school’s Headteacher is passionate about developing distributed leadership within the school and introduced the Head Boy and Head Girl roles in 2016 as part of wider school developments.

Those who wanted to take on the vital positions were asked to apply in writing sharing their leadership values and ideas. Mrs Hildrey then held interviews with possible candidates with each one showcasing their vision for the school and their commitment to playing a role in its future development.

The promising new leaders act as ambassadors for the school and take an active role in representing the views of their fellow students. They also act as the first point of contact for any prospective students and their families.

Ryan and Saoirse will assist in the Outdoor Learning Project which aims to re-design the school grounds to improve facilities for students of all ages; devise an action plan following the December 2017 student survey and be at the forefront of Abbot’s Lea’s fundraising campaign for the coming year.

Individually, both students are passionate about developing further facilities available to all including the suggested introduction of healthy vending machines!

Abbot's School

Saoirse and Ryan have high aspirations for their own futures and they hope to use the remaining time at Abbot’s Lea School to develop their employment-readiness. Saoirse carries out weekly work experience on the school’s reception whilst Ryan is currently considering his future career options and looking into various vocational pathways available to him in the Liverpool City Region.

Ryan said:  “I am very pleased to be Head Boy at Abbot’s Lea. I am keen to represent the voice of many students here at the school and share their ideas with the Headteacher and the leadership team.”

Saoirse added:  “As Head Girl I am looking forward to working closely with Mrs Hildrey, the staff and members of the School Council to ensure Abbot’s Lea is a welcoming and positive environment for all.”

Mrs Hildrey said:  “It is with great delight that I introduce our new Head Boy and Girl. Following last year’s successful appointments, we had a lot of interest from students and I was incredibly impressed with each of the six candidates’ commitment and confidence. It is fantastic to know that so many of our senior students are keen to take on leadership roles and represent the school in this way.

“Since joining the school in 2016, I have been keen to create a distributed leadership model for the staff and the students. This model strengthens shared vision, school developmental planning and creates a culture of mutual accountability. By students becoming an integral part of this approach, they are given not only the voice but also – very crucially - extra responsibilities to prepare them for further education, the world of work and the reality of an adult life.”

The school is determined to provide equal opportunities for people with Autism and equip students with a wealth of skills and knowledge through work related learning and employability events.

Last year’s Head Boy Dan Houghton who left the school in July 2017, has since gone on to study catering at Knowsley Community College and has secured a part-time job at the Starbucks, fighting off stiff competition from 15 other candidates.

Abbot’s Lea School is an outstanding school that provides the highest quality of specialist education for students aged 3-19 living with Autism and a range of associated communication, interaction, social, imagination, sensory and learning differences.


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