Student Leadership Accreditation
In September 2013 we launched the Student Leadership Accreditation which is an initiative that is supported by SSAT. It is an unfortunate fact that despite girls out performing boys at every academic level, women hold less than 5% of the leadership roles of notable companies. Of Margaret Alphonsa Ellis it was said that she “shrunk from no new departure, no bold experiment that the times have seemed to call for.” The times are certainly calling for this situation to be addressed. The Student Leadership Accreditation encourages our students to develop the skills needed for leadership and as with other skills, leadership needs to be practised. Alongside their academic results, it allows the students to demonstrate that throughout their journey at Loreto they have progressed holistically. I cannot think of anything more powerful than young women living out the values of Mary Ward in positions of influence in which ever field they choose.
Loreto Grammar school was one of the first schools in the county to implement this programme of student leadership and I have continued to worked extensively with SSAT. We are recognised by SSAT as implementing ‘excellent practice’ and have been asked to support other schools interested in embarking upon the SLA.
After an introductory presentation, the students begin by discussing with their forms the qualities they believe are important in leadership. Older students extend this by discussing the barriers excluding women from leadership roles. The students are able to take complete ownership of the SLA by choosing whether to begin at bronze, silver or gold. They then decide for themselves what evidence they could gather to demonstrate that they have completed each of the ten leadership strands. This decision making develops aspects of independence and resilience. Once the ten strands are evidenced and the supporting statements completed, the students then peer moderate the portfolios. This is truly leadership for the students by the students.
The students are given time to build their portfolio within the Form Period programme and they will continue to develop their leadership skills throughout their time at Loreto.
Any student that achieves the gold standard is invited to become as SLA Ambassador. This role will allow them to extend their own leadership skills whilst supporting other students.
Unfortunately, during the Covid 19 pandemic, it has not been possible for students to complete their SLA portfolios. However, we are looking forward to a point hopefully in the near future when we can focus again on this valuable accreditation.
To allow you to have a fuller understanding of the SLA, I have included a number of relevant SSAT documents.