Student Leadership Accreditation

In September 2013 we launched the Student Leadership Accreditation: an initiative supported by the SSAT. It is an unfortunate fact that despite girls out performing boys at every academic level, women hold less than 5% of leadership roles in 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 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, the SLA allows our students to demonstrate that throughout their journey at Loreto, they have progressed holistically. We cannot think of anything more powerful than young women living out the Values of Mary Ward in positions of influence in whichever field they choose.

Loreto Grammar School was one of the first schools in the county to implement this programme of student leadership and we have continued to work 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.

Students are given time to build their SLA portfolio within the Form Period programme and they will continue to develop their leadership skills throughout their time at Loreto.  After an introductory presentation, 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. They are able to take complete ownership of the SLA by choosing whether to begin at bronze, silver or gold level. 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, students then peer moderate their portfolios. Students are also supported by Sixth Form SLA Ambassadors who fulfil an important role in the process while also developing their own leadership skills. This is truly leadership for the students by the students.

Unfortunately, during the Covid 19 pandemic, completion of the SLA was postponed, however, in January 2023 Loreto relaunched this valuable accreditation which has seen many more students already recognised at bronze, silver and gold level respectively. We look forward to seeing it continue to thrive in our Loreto community.

To allow you to have a fuller understanding of the SLA, we have included a number of relevant SSAT documents.

Ms McCloskey

May 2024


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