Leadership Roles at Cranbrook School
19 May 17 by Tim Browning, Head of Senior School
This week we begin leadership discussions with the class of 2018. The passing of the baton from Year Group to Year Group takes place next term. Cranbrook’s Prefects are chosen in a consultative way, through feedback from students and staff. We look for people who have a balance of different gifts, talents and areas of involvement; there are debaters, musicians and sportsmen. These boys are known for their kindness as much their academic and sporting success.
To be selected in a badged positon consideration is given to five criteria. These criteria are as follows:
First, if you continue to be a vigorous contributor, with an understanding of the goals, spirit and values of the School.
Second, if you are strong, in the sense that you are prepared to be unpopular for the sake of the wider School community, give considered advice to the Headmaster and to fellow Prefects without fear or favour, are loyal to the Headmaster, Prefect body and School and respect the confidentiality of deliberations on policy and activities. As one Housemaster so cogently put it, "strong people earn respect without caring about popularity, whereas weak people court popularity and mistake it for respect".
Third, if you act as an exemplar, setting an example in all elements of school life but, in particular, being prepared to take a stand on issues of moral importance, unswayed by idle criticism.
Fourth, if you work as a team member, visible around the School, firm yet warm in dealings with peers and younger pupils, willing to carry out routine, sometimes tedious, duties, able to listen to fellow prefects' points of view, and demonstrating initiative in improving the effectiveness of the work of the Prefect body.
Finally, if you are an interventionist, genuinely concerned about pupils in trouble, or lost, or weaker, or who simply need a listener, or are in special difficulty. You must be prepared to do something to help.
Above all, you will take the initiative. You are a leader, not a follower. At the end of the day, all of these things are about thinking of others and the greater good and about being properly responsible.