GIRLS are leading the way at Marling School in Stroud for the first time in its history.

Last September, hundreds of years of single sex education came to an end at the Stroud grammar school, with girls admitted to Marling sixth form.

This followed a return to the independent teaching of sixth form students by Marling and Stroud High after 17 years of an integrated sixth form.

Now girls have won four of the seven roles in this year’s student leadership team at the new co-educational sixth form.

Katy Owen has been appointed head girl and she and members of her team are playing a key role in a mentoring and coaching programme for younger students.

One team member, Imogen Grover is currently undertaking counselling training as part of the mentoring scheme.

Imogen said: “When I joined Marling sixth form as part of the first intake of girls, I really wanted to be in the leadership team to ensure we had a clear voice and to help shape the experience for girls following in our footsteps.

“I am particularly interested in helping with mental health and wellbeing, so am really pleased to have an opportunity to do something real to improve this.”

Caitlin Griffiths is using her deputy head girl role to encourage students of all ages to engage with a wide range of political issues and processes.

A keen A-Level politics student, Caitlin is planning to run campaigns and mock elections to introduce younger students to the world of politics and is establishing an Amnesty International group to raise awareness of human rights issues.

She said: “I think it’s important for the first girls in Marling to make an impact – we are trail blazers. Since coming to this school I’ve noticed that lots of students are interested in political issues, so I want to help them understand more and get involved.”