The Guardian Convention is one of the most significant annual events in Cobham’s calendar. It is the day on which the Student Leadership Team, including the Guardian (head girl), Deputy Guardian and the four House Captains are chosen for the next year in the life of the school.
Some girls anticipate the event years in advance, hoping that they might be chosen to represent their peers. For the Year 12s putting themselves forward for positions, the weeks and days leading up the Guardian Convention are both nervous and thrilling. The convention is attended by all students and staff. Candidates for Guardian give a speech and then take questions from the audience that they have no knowledge of beforehand. The running mate they have chosen to be their deputy must also give a speech. House Captains also speak to encourage the girls in their house to vote for them. Speeches are frequently a mixture of the funny and the serious. They can be inventive, and are often full of hope and promises and always full of ideas.
At lunchtime, the Headmaster takes the Guardian candidates out to lunch while the rest of the school casts its vote. Results are announced at the end of that school day.
The Student Leadership Team has a very significant impact on the life of the school throughout the year. They organise events, represent the students and are a major force of communication between staff and pupils. The Guardian Convention perfectly represents the Round Square ideal of democracy – every staff and student vote holds equal weight.