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Today (Friday 1 May) we gathered for a rather unusual assembly to formally appoint the 2020 / 2021 Prefect Team.

The Handing Over of the Gowns Ceremony usually takes place in York Hall and sees the outgoing Prefect Team place their gown on the shoulders of the incoming Prefect Team. Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, we were unable to do this, however this wasn’t going to stop us celebrating this much-loved tradition.

To ensure the whole School could take part in this tradition Mrs Fowles, Deputy Head, arranged for the ceremony to take place virtually.

We all gathered around our screens and were welcomed by Headmistress Mrs Raraty to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work of the outgoing Year 13 team. The Head Girl Team made up of Grace, Bea and Vivi have been supported by their dedicated Prefect Team throughout the year.

We warmly welcomed the incoming Head Girls Team of Faye, Emily, Tolu and the Prefects. We look forward to seeing them grow as a team over the coming year.  

History of the Handing Over the Gowns Ceremony

We believe the tradition of physically handing over the gowns was started at St James's & The Abbey in the late 1980's. There was also an incoming Prefect ceremony at Malvern Girls' College, but they did not have gowns there until the 2000's.

Over the years each Headmistress has added a personal touch to the ceremony. It’s an opportunity for them to say thank you to the outgoing Prefect Team and celebrate their achievements over the year and also welcome the new team.

In the early 2000s the ceremony included each Prefect lighting a burner on a five-foot-high Sri Lankan brass oil lamp.

The new blue coloured gowns were introduced only a few years ago to match the blue of Malvern St James and were a donation from The Friends of MSJ. 

A tradition the girls continue today is sewing their name tapes into the gowns to add to the previous names.

If you remember this tradition and would like to share your stories please email OGA, they’d love to hear from you.

Malvern St James Gown Names