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Head Girl: Carla Malhotra née Ewing OW 2000

5th February 2024

When did you come to King Edward's Witley?

I joined King Edward’s Witley when my dad was posted overseas in 1994 and stayed at the school all the way through to Upper Sixth leaving in the summer of 2000.  My mum jokes that the day she dropped me off in London for my ‘induction’ to the school was the worst day of her life! But, whilst it was very overwhelming for me, it was the start of a great adventure at the school, and I look back on my time at KESW with fond memories.

What was the highlight of your time at King Edward's Witley?

After Copeland, which perhaps was not a highlight of my time at the school, I became part of Tudor House. Everyone says their house is the best, but Edward and Tudor really were for my time at the school. I loved the sense of belonging and fierce rivalry between houses. Mrs Parker became my Housemistress, which, as a sport loving girl, was brilliant for me. I played netball and hockey for the school and loved all house competitions, apart from cross country!

I probably shouldn’t write this as a previous Head Girl but the mischief with friends is probably the thing that I look back on most. From volunteering at the 6th Form bar (because you knew you’d get an extra couple of drinks) to ‘breaking out’, or the fun that could be had when on a pass to Guildford or Godalming. Witley Train station on a Saturday afternoon was always chaotic! Given all this, I’m not actually sure I was a wise choice for Head Girl! I openly say I’m absolutely rubbish at keeping in touch with people and one of my big regrets is that I’ve not kept in close contact with my friends from school.

I was Head Girl alongside George Yiend as Head Boy, and it was a great role to be in. I loved all the ‘pomp and circumstance’ and the opportunity to take part in events in London with the Lord Mayor. During my time as Head Girl, I took part in the Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday parade, where I got to lead 100 of the school pupils and a giant Birthday Cake that the DT department had constructed through Horse Guards Parade. I’d been lucky enough to go to Clarence House for tea with the Queen Mother during my time in Copeland House (Junior House) and it felt like both moments marked the beginning and end of my time at the school. To this day, my kids don’t believe that I had tea with the Queen Mother and her Corgis! The Head Girls’ poem on Speech Day was also something I will never forget – one of the most nervous moments of my life – but I did it! I’d love to know if the tradition of this being written about the school year, learnt by heart, and recited in front of the whole school and Lord Mayor, still stands?

What did life after school hold?

After leaving school I travelled for a year before taking a place at Newcastle University to study Geography (thanks to Mr Poulter and Mr Alcock). I graduated with 2:1 and quickly decided that Newcastle was home for me and have been an honorary Geordie ever since. I’m married and we have 2 kids and a loopy dog called Roo. I’ve worked in a range of organisations throughout my career, including Fostering, Training, Care and, most recently, Regulation. And, somewhere along the line, I fell into a career in HR. I’m now a Chartered Member of the CIPD and I have a great role that I love as Head of HR, Operations and Business Partnering in the Public Sector for the Care Quality Commission.  All of my roles centred around making a positive social difference. Working for organisations with values at their heart was driven though my time at King Edward’s.

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