Trusty Servant November 2023 136

No . 136 NOVEMBER 2023

The Headmaster – in her own words

The Editor , Lucia Quinault ( Co Ro , 99- ), spent a happy half hour with Elizabeth Stone , talking Winchester past , present and future .
I took advantage of the many OW members of Common Room to help me formulate the questions for this interview ; perhaps unsurprisingly , many of them are about traditions : are they good ; are they bad ; should one ever try to revive a tradition ?
My thanks in particular to Jeremy Douglas ( Coll , 88-92 ; Co Ro , 04- ) and Christopher Normand ( F , 76-81 ) for their thoughts . This first question is Jeremy ’ s . we want our values to endure we need to respond to those challenges ; we won ’ t flourish without it . But there ’ s a wonderful perk for the Headmaster of Winchester , which is that we are rightly taken seriously . We don ’ t have to apologise for doing things differently where that is the product of a deeply reflective , robust understanding of what is important .
So what do you think we do differently ?
A lot of schools talk about academic excellence , and the discussion will very quickly segue into exam results , and although no one would deny their importance , there is often a gravitational pull towards that being the mark of excellence . Unequivocally , we need to have
How , if at all , should Winchester be different from other schools ?
One of the things I appreciated when I was last here was that the school knew what it stood for , and had a real clarity of purpose . And I find in education that is often not the case . Generally you find schools looking over their shoulder , and feeling that they have to meet the zeitgeist whether or not they believe that it has value and substance . And that can lead to a lot of froth and bubble . So I am deeply committed to the need for us to respond to contemporary challenges , which of course change – they ’ ve changed since I was here last time ; they ’ ll change again in the coming years – and if