This magazine, the Gaytonian, is our school magazine. Although it is used to show off the school, to praise us, to inform the Great Outside World of the achievements of Harrow County, this letter is aimed at the school, the staff and the students.
I believe that the boys of this school need, and should have, more say in its administration. But yet we do not deserve this. Why? It is a question of attitude. Why should we have a say in the running of a school we have no pride in? If one reads through early copies of the Gaytonian, one realizes that, in 1911, the masters and boys of the school were building something. Now the school is built, we have our customs, traditions and reputation, but something is missing.
It is partly a feeling of involvement. The majority of us are not involved enough, and it must be the aim of the school to involve its pupils. By involvement, I mean the school, to be fully successful, has to be more than a place where one comes to work, to learn one's lessons, and then go home.
I have said that we have no pride in the school. For boys to be proud of the school, it must be part of them, belonging to them. They need to feel for it, rather than against; to have a voice in the administration of it. But, we have no voice, we are not involved. Give us a chance to play a part in the decision taking, in the administration, and in the physical maintenance of Harrow County. Have enough confidence in us to let us do a few things for ourselves instead of having everything done for us. Respect our opinions as we respect the opinions of the masters of the school.
The school was repainted last year. How much better it would be looked after if some of the boys had been supplied with paint and brushes, and allowed (not told!) to do some of the painting. Furniture is often written on and broken, locker doors are broken off. If we had boys repairing all these, perhaps they would be cared for far better.
(This following paragraph was omitted from the Gaytonian, although it was printed in an issue of Gayton Times, a duplicated magazine edited by Jeff Maynard and published in July 1968. I would like to see us have a Sixth Form Council, as many other schools do. This body would decide the creation of prefects, the allocation of school funds and various other decisions that affect us, and, more important, would provide a forum where it would be possible for us to discuss, criticise, and improve the school.)
These two go hand in hand: a voice in the administration of the school, so that thus we feel that it is ours, and an identification with, and pride in, the school.
Jeff Maynard (aged 18)