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Significance of Deputy Head Boy-ship

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Reply 20
Exactly, if you put all that you've taken up a massive amount of PS space on something that the admissions tutors couldn't really give a crap about. :smile:
To be fair though, remember you aren't writing your PS for Cambridge - you're writing it for 5 universities, some of which might be quite impressed by such a big role of responsibility; you can't pin all your hopes on Cambridge. I think the best thing to do is definitely stick it into your statement if you've got room, but don't save it for the CAF, because other people are probably right in saying that admissions tutors at Cambridge won't care.
Reply 22
Just out of curiousity, how many people go/went to schools where the Head Boy/Girl/deputies are elected by the student body? At my school teachers appoint them. Oh and in terms of its significance, probably not much, our Head Boy was rejected (albeit for Medicine) but Deputy Head Girl got into Downing for law, and Head Girl got into Oxford. Don't bother mentioning it cus your school probably will in your reference. That would look more stylish too if you didn't reiterate it- just make sure its noted by your referee.
Our school elects them mainly by the student body, although the teachers are meant to have some say in it. It's an independent school btw, I guess that's a bit unusual...
Reply 24
We had one head of school, two deputies (one male, one female) and six senior prefects - all of whom were elected by the headmaster. Independent school. The head of school in my year didn't apply to Oxbridge, but of the two deputies, one received an offer from Cambridge and the other an Oxford rejection. The previous year, the head of school was accepted to Oxford. So read into that what you will. My take on it would be that, if elected by teachers, it's likely the the heads of school will be upstanding, intelligent, talented individuals who probably have a good chance anyway, and being a head of school only further exemplifies this, neither to detriment nor advantage.
Reply 25
More to the point, how many people went to schools that actually had Head Boys or Girls? I suspect on TSR there will be quite a few, but in the real world, not that many.
Our Head Boy and prefects just have to write a letter and then are interviewed by the headmaster. It is strange though - quite a lot of outstanding people didn't even get an interview and a handful of academically mediocre people did (though they speak quite well). I think to an extent at my school they just want someone who will make a good impression and also say "Yes!" to all of the headmaster's ideas! :smile:

I couldn't imagine it being student elected though - it could turn into a bit of a frenzy of people thinking they are popular and people finding out that they were less popular than they thought. Best if it is a staff thing.
Wildebeest

I couldn't imagine it being student elected though - it could turn into a bit of a frenzy of people thinking they are popular and people finding out that they were less popular than they thought.


Strangely enough, that's exactly what happened!!!
Reply 28
Wildebeest
it could turn into a bit of a frenzy of people thinking they are popular and people finding out that they were less popular than they thought. Best if it is a staff thing.


Welcome to the mucky, grubby world of student all politics...
Reply 29
At our school we have a school captain (rejected from Oxford for Law), a vice-captain, 14 senior prefects (3 rejected from Oxbridge), and 20 or so Prefects. They are elected split between the student body and the teachers. I was refused senior prefectship, and only two people (both lowly prefects) got into oxbridge; both to do Engineering, one at Oxford and one at Cambridge :smile:
Reply 30
I went to an FE college with about 30,000 students, though admittedly only 500 did A Levels. No prefects, no head boys, no school captains, no vice-captains and not even a hall monitor. No one has ever got into Oxbridge, apart from me. :smile:
Reply 31
my personal response to the original post is that I personally think that being deputy head boy means close to absolutely nothing unless you did something extraordinary in that position. If it was me, I wouldn't waste the space on my personal statement - you've only got so many lines to work with, and writing things which I think are irrelevant aren't helping. I know people on here said that being deputy head boy isn't going to harm your application, and I would agree, but another way of looking at it is that if you write it on your PS, then you've lost the space to write something that is actually worth something, and so in a way it could do your application harm to write it!

Obviously I don't know how admissions people think about these things though - that's just my personal angle on it!
Just in case anybody's interested, I attend a state school and it was elected mainly by the student body; I believe that staff voted too, but not that their votes carried any more weight. It was really just a popularity contest, and the funny posters were all that did it for me. I'm not exactly stereotypical Head Boy material, and I think people just voted for me for a laugh. :smile:
LGoddard
Just in case anybody's interested, I attend a state school and it was elected mainly by the student body; I believe that staff voted too, but not that their votes carried any more weight. It was really just a popularity contest, and the funny posters were all that did it for me. I'm not exactly stereotypical Head Boy material, and I think people just voted for me for a laugh. :smile:


No, but it is still an excellent achievement though! :smile: Look, to summarise, it will most likely make little difference specifically to your Oxbridge application. However, there are other important things you can take from it with relation to your application - think communication and responsibility.
Reply 34
Wildebeest
No, but it is still an excellent achievement though! :smile: Look, to summarise, it will most likely make little difference specifically to your Oxbridge application. However, there are other important things you can take from it with relation to your application - think communication and responsibility.


Yep - and if you actually use it to make a difference, i.e. setting up peer support links, or university advice or something like that then it will definitely be a boost to the old personal statement. It's not worth putting down just for the sake of it tho - "I was deputy head of school" won't do much for you if you didn't do anything with that power.
Reply 35
also, may depend on the subject. i've heard for medicine and stuff they're very hot on "leadership" qualities - a number of friends got asked at interviews "when have you last demonstrated leadership qualities" etc, so being a senior prefect at school is a good example.

But, if it's an acheivement at your school, I would definately pop it down - it can't hurt, and other unis may love it even more. As with all things in P.S.'s drag out the skills - i was a House Captain, and i drag out of it leadership, organisation, and just to show the rounded aspects to it (sport etc). But, it's true that when it comes down to it, Cambridge won't really care too much, but other unis, especially the ones like Durham who are looking for random reasons to pick people (with no interviews and huge application numbers, it seems to come down to that pretty much)


This is our Deputy Head Boy. He didn't take the whole thing seriously- he projected this picture onto the wall of the theatre during the assembly and said "If I'm Head Boy I shall abuse my power, do absolutely nothing, and make a mess of the whole thing. But it'll be fun."
Reply 37
I think being Deputy Head Boy isnt something to be particularly proud of and by putting it into your personal statement, a piece of writing designed to show how impressive you are, it just implies that you accept mediocrity.

Our Deputy Head, for example, basically bought his way in- which shows how little it can mean...
Reply 38
13241, I can understand you thinking that Deputy Head Boy is nothing to be proud of, especially when you have people who are clearly not proud to be part of, and work for, their school.

I am currently Head Boy of my school (soon to pass on the baton in a few weeks!) and I did mention it briefly in my PS, but I said what I had done as Head Boy aswell - not just stating that that was my position in the school.

So do go ahead and put it down, many Head/Deputy Head Boys still value their school highly I'm sure, and added to that all of your achievements and contributions to school should make an impressive looking personal statement.
So do go ahead and put it down, many Head/Deputy Head Boys still value their school highly I'm sure, and added to that all of your achievements and contributions to school should make an impressive looking personal statement.


True, but it won't necessarily make it stand out from any of the others at Oxbridge, which is my point.

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