31 August 2023
The event, organised through The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), brought together the student leadership teams from all four Scottish Girls’ Schools: St Margaret’s, St George’s, The Mary Erskine School and Kilgraston School. A total of 24 students took part in the event. The Girls’ Schools Association champions girls and their teachers so that they have the best chances to excel in the lives they choose to lead.
Dr Susan Reid Elder of Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University hosted a lively and interactive session on ‘Leadership in 2023 and beyond’ which explored the qualities and skill sets which are demonstrated by effective leaders. Students reflected on their own strengths and how they would maximise these over the year ahead.
Nimisha, from The Mary Erskine School, who was in attendance said:
“Through this conference I have learnt about the importance of emotional intelligence and empathy in leadership through the session led by Dr Reid Elder. I also enjoyed the opportunity to practise my public speaking skills and meet other young women from other schools who are in leadership positions.”
Headteacher of St Margaret’s School for Girls, Anna Tomlinson, said:
“Hosting the GSA Student Leadership Teams conference highlighted the opportunity for strong female leadership at St Margaret’s, and in girls’ schools across Scotland where we see all our pupils as potential leaders, whether in titled roles or as role models for others. Nurturing the future generation of female leaders underpins everything we do and it was our pleasure to welcome students from fellow girls’ schools.
“The conference fell on the same day as the Celebrate Aberdeen parade which showcases the array of voluntary organisations in the city. We all gathered together at the front of school to cheer on the parade and the sense of purpose and service which these organisations exhibit was an inspirational start to our time together.”
Other interactive workshops included ‘Hopes and challenges for the year ahead’ and a session dedicated to public speaking.
Other participants noted:
“I have been able to meet other girls with similar ambitions and ideas, allowing me to collaborate and share suggestions that could help improve all our schools. I’ve been inspired to do some public speaking and have been given some tips on how to engage with my audience.” (Lexi, St George’s)
“I have learned that a leader does not have to be perfect and it is ok to ask others for help.” (Blessed, St Margaret’s)
“I have found today incredibly empowering as we all discussed the valuable and unique qualities that we all shared and can work on in the coming year as strong, female leaders.” (Ella, The Mary Erskine School)
“Today, I have really noticed the impact that positivity and confidence can have. This was shown through meeting new people and having the right mindset to be approachable and easy to talk to. I have also really enjoyed hearing advice from former and current leaders about dealing with pressures and multitasking which comes with the position. Thank you so much. It has been so beneficial and will be useful for the future.” (Trixie, The Mary Erskine School)