Having tried to stay up through the wee hours of this morning, but failing miserably, I was delighted and relieved to learn this morning that our four nations will remain part of the United Kingdom. The union which has been in place for over 300 years will continue for generations to come and although almost half of Scotland wanted independence, the whole referendum process has engaged people in politics in a way the UK has not seen before. It has allowed people to have the conversation – people as young as 16 were given the right to vote and this has been a positive move. With turn outs at the ballot boxes of over 90% in some cases, voter apathy will, I am sure, be a thing of the past. And although voters opted for reform rather than revolution, this referendum has unleashed a process of transformation set to extend far beyond Scotland's border and I hope that the nations will continue to work together to bring out the best in each of them. Working closely with our communities on a national and a local level is a positive thing and will bring about benefits that will affect us all and I look forward in continuing to develop our strong relationships with many of the initiatives in our great community – providing opportunities both in and out of the academic arena for our students. It was wonderful to see the Y6s from our local feeder primary schools, Upton Noble and Bruton Primary, visit us yesterday for a day of challenge where they were engaged in activities which ranged from the creative arts, philosophy and food technology. And we had a splendid time at Walwin House last night with our Y7 boarders who came round for supper with my family - they were an absolute delight and we enjoyed their sparkling company. The prefects on both occasions were a credit to the school and fitting role models for the younger members of our community - working together to bring out the best in each other.
And as we pause for breath this weekend, like many of us did this morning, I hope that you have a peaceful exeat in the United Kingdom.