Applecross Senior High School will ban titles such as head boy and head girl

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A top Perth primary school is looking to ban the terms “head girl” and “head boy” in a revamp of its leadership titles.

The West Australian reports Applecross Senior High School’s board was reviewing the traditional titles for its student leaders.

Instead, it is exploring “more inclusive and representative leadership titles”.

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Headteacher Paul Leech said his pupils wanted the school to investigate new titles.

Paul Leech - Headmaster, Applecross Senior High School.  Source:
Camera iconPrincipal Paul Leech. Credit:

“Student leadership roles are based on merit, commitment and enthusiasm, and they believe that a title of captain is more reflective of the position itself,” he said.

“We are an inclusive school community and support students to make decisions based on respect and equality. Discussions will continue and a decision will be made before the 2023 school year.”

WA Secondary School Executives Association president Melissa Gillett has welcomed the review, pointing out that many public schools were already phasing out the titles in favor of gender-neutral names.

Ms Gillett said she replaced head boys and girls with head prefects when she was principal at Morley’s John Forrest Secondary College several years ago “because we had a large number of transgender children and we didn’t want to be specific about it”.

While some teachers were unhappy, she switched without consultation, but none of the parents complained.

“I think anything that a school does that is inclusive, rather than exclusive, is a good thing,” she said.

Melville Senior High School last week announced the appointment of two school captains for next year instead of one head boy and one girl, while Perth Modern School, which also had one head boy and one girl this year, has revealed it will move to two head prefects.

For the full story, see The West Australian.

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