Back row, left to right – Deputy head students: Iman Aslam, Mason De Souza, Olivia Cooke, Jake Sandland, Lucy Taverner and Lewis Walsh
Back row, left to right – Deputy head students: Iman Aslam, Mason De Souza, Olivia Cooke, Jake Sandland, Lucy Taverner and Lewis Walsh

New Student Leadership Team appointed at Harrogate Grammar School

7 July 2022

Harrogate Grammar School is delighted to announce the appointment of Harry Baskind and Harriet Winspear as Head Students of the Student Leadership Team. Iman Aslam, Olivia Cooke, Mason De Souza, Jake Sandland, Lucy Taverner and Lewis Walsh have all been appointed as Deputies.

The school has a long tradition of providing leadership opportunities, which are highly regarded positions within the school community. Director of Sixth Form, Ben Twitchin, explained the rigorous selection process:

“Year 12 students nominated themselves for the Student Leadership Team by writing a formal letter. We looked at their performance in all aspects of school life, including their voluntary support at school events. Candidates then had to record a short piece to camera, making their case for Head Student.

This was played to whole school for all students to cast their vote. From this, a shortlist of 12 applicants pitched to our student Senate, outlining what they would do in their first 30 days as Head Student. A final 8 students were selected to become part of our Student Leadership Team, with Harry and Harriet as our Head Students and the other 6 as a key team of Deputies.”

Harriet and Harry displayed key qualities to earn their place.

Mr Twitchin said:

They showed real humility.They were very articulate and had a clear vision of how they could benefit students in the school. The way they spoke about the school also made them fantastic representatives. Half of the team, including Harriet, only joined Harrogate Grammar School in September 2021. It took a certain confidence to put themselves forward and we were impressed at how keen they were to make an impact on the whole school.

Students will participate in leadership seminars to develop and to help them share ideas.

They gain valuable experience in planning and project management, teamwork and public speaking. They work as a team to drive through the changes they want to see and to ultimately make a positive impact on the lives of all our students.

The Head Students have a wide remit: to represent over 2000 students, to chair the Senate and report back to the senior leaders in the school. The Deputies run the school council across the year groups. Externally, the whole team will support events like Red Kite Day, whilst also promoting the recruitment of new students and meeting with other Head Students from across the Trust.

These attitudes and skills are also encouraged across the whole of Sixth Form.

Mr Twitchin said:

We expect everyone to adopt a dedicated mindset.

All our year 12 students carry out 30 hours of service, where they can get a taste of leadership and supporting others. This could be helping Year 8 students in French or the Year 10’s at netball training. There is a wider expectation to become role models for others and everyone can be part of that, especially in terms of promoting our diversity agenda. Ollie and Ellie, our former Head Students, were instrumental in pushing those values forward.

Harriet Winspear, Head Student, said:

I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent the school as Head Student. Having started at the school in September, I have been struck by the welcoming and friendly atmosphere at Harrogate Grammar School and I am excited to work alongside the rest of the Student Leadership Team to support all our fantastic events and enhance the special community here.


Harry Baskind, Head Student, said:

It is a genuine honour and a privilege to be selected as Head Student. Having been at the school since Year 7, I have seen and experienced the incredible impact that our school community can have on the lives of young people. Throughout the pandemic we lost that vital connection which we previously took for granted. Together with Harriet and the rest of the Student Leadership Team, I hope to build on our brilliant school community and to strive for a successful year.


Ben Twitchin, Director of Sixth Form, said:

We are fortunate to have such a strong group of student leaders at our school. We know that they will be role models within our school, and fine ambassadors for our school within the wider community.


Headteacher, Neil Renton, said:

We are very excited about our new Student Leadership Team and we have every confidence that they will make a significant contribution as young leaders in our school.

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