Preparing Leaders of the Future
On Thursday 26th September, Manchester High School for Girls hosted the Girls School Association’s North West Head Girls Conference.
The annual event brought pupils from Manchester High, Merchant Taylors’, Bury Grammar School for Girls, Withington Girls School, Alderley Edge School for Girls, Bolton School, Victoria College Belfast and Queen’s School, Chester together for a day of inspiration, discussion and debate.
Former Head Girl, Eleanor Fidler (Class of 2018) opened the event by telling delegates: “The role of a Head Girl is immensely rewarding, but full of challenge. You will act as a ‘middle woman’ between staff and students, which will help to develop your interpersonal, organisational and project management skills. Most importantly, you will learn how to handle pressure and ensure that you always prioritise what is most important.”
Delegates then heard from Dr Paula Turner, a former Manchester High parent, who has a PhD in Strategic Entrepreneurship and is a leadership expert. She expressed the importance of authenticity and told girls: “Being yourself is incredibly important. Don’t lose track of who you are, especially when times are tough. You are all in a very privileged position, but leading your friends can be tough and it’s incredibly important to stay true to yourself.”
In the afternoon session, girls were asked to describe and design their perfect Sixth Form environment. The activity encouraged them to think about what they wanted, how they would get there and the challenges they might face along the way.
Mrs Norton, Director of Sixth Form, who organised the conference, said: “The GSA was founded to help girls flourish and it is our role as educators to help them do so in whatever way we can. Leadership is an incredibly important part of a girls’ education and this conference gave members of the various Head Girl teams some clarity about what the role involves. The discussions were varied and full of interesting ideas. I was particularly impressed at the way they all grappled with complex topics, such as sustainability in schools, which filled me with positivity for the future!”