Leadership matters. Unfortunately the standard of leadership on view recently in different parts of the world and in different sectors of modern life often leave a lot to be desired. The bizarre and sometimes childish behaviour of some of our public figures and world leaders who hold the lives of so many in their hands, yet seem to care so little, shows us that leadership matters probably more now than at any time in our history. The failure of some of our leaders to agree ways forward to reverse climate change, to tackle poverty, injustice and inequality is there for all to see. The media is awash with examples of bad leadership and individuals in positions of influence who are poor role models for others. It is easy to feel that there is little hope when faced with problems on this scale, yet as Christians and as educators, we are never without hope.
In our experience one source of that hope is the experience of working with our student leaders, our Captains, our Head Boys, Head Girls, our Prefects and others who inspire, lead and care for their peers. We would like to invite you to join us and to share this hope by taking time to reflect on what these excellent role models do in our schools.
The Mount 175 Student Leadership Conference will be hosted by the Senior Leadership Team at Mount St Mary’s College in April 2018. The Conference has been organised by the school as part of Mount 175, the college’s 175 anniversary celebrations. The Mount are bringing together student leaders including Head Boys, Head Girls, Prefects, Captains and others who hold informal positions of leadership from schools in the UK and around the world. The Conference will provide an ideal forum for students and perhaps the teachers or staff who mentor them to share best practice and explore some of the key issues around student leadership in our Schools.
Our student leaders are key people in our schools. They inspire us, they model the values we profess. Their example raises the leadership capacity in the school and provides excellent support to the school’s senior leadership team.
We believe that we can learn lot from our student leaders if we can find ways of listening to them. They provide a formal structure and outlet for the student voice to be heard. Most of us have excellent student leadership programs in operation. Many hold regular meetings with our student leaders. We’d like to listen and learn from each other about best practice. We hope to discern how best to hear the student voice in our schools for the future and find ways to best provide them with opportunities to give effect to their leadership potential.
Perhaps one of the best things about successful student leadership programs is the impact they can have on the student body and especially on the younger and even the most vulnerable students.
When student leadership works well we all win. The student leaders themselves benefit. We know that even though if it can sometimes be exhausting, the experience of actually leading can be rewarding and a great source of learning.
What form will the Conference take?
The main purpose of this Conference is to listen to our students and to learn from what they say and do. There will be three short addresses in the main conference hall which will guide the reflection and focus and refine the questions to be discussed in smaller groups with plenary sessions on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday morning. We will be inviting a number of schools to prepare short (20min) presentations which will form the basis of workshops to be delivered and reflected upon during Saturday. The first sessions on Friday will focus us on questions that we begin with. On Sunday we will refine those questions in the light of what has emerged during the Conference. Ultimately we will look to gather together examples of best practice and the benefit of shared experience which can be disseminated to our own schools and to others.
Some practical details
The Conference is open to students, over 16yrs and their mentors, teachers and members of the senior leadership in your school. Although many will attend from the local area the Conference is residential with students being accommodated in our staffed boarding houses. Staff accompanying students will have the option to stay at the school (subject to availability) or to book their own accommodation at one of the local hotels. We have already committed a number of spaces to schools travelling from overseas so early booking of the school accommodation is strongly advised.
We have timed the Conference to reduce the impact on examination preparation and to limit time away from school. At the same time we recognise that students travelling from some distance might want to extend their stay either before or after the Conference. We can offer accommodation and some advice on a programme at the school to a limited number of those travelling long distance. Please contact us directly to enquire and do so soon to avoid disappointment as places will be limited.
Please note that our school will be in session from Monday April 16th. We are a traditional British day and boarding school. It might prove an interesting experience for some to stay on and experience life in our school.
Ideally we would like to welcome 4-8 delegates from each school and their teachers. We understand that for schools to travel from distance they may wish to bring a larger group. Please contact us directly if that is the case.
The school is located in a small rural village just outside Sheffield adjacent exit 30 of the M1 about two hours from London Airports and about 1.15mins from Manchester Airport. We are happy to help with arranging transport from the airports or alternatively from Chesterfield or Sheffield train stations.
Our staff are very experienced and are well placed to help you with travel arrangements. They can also advise you on any matters relating to visas or entry to the UK.
Prior to arrival we will circulate materials to all of those who are attending to start the conversations. We will invite schools to post examples of student leadership in action with Educate Magis so that we can begin the sharing.
Friday April 13th
10am Registration. Time to settle into accommodation.
12.30pm The Conference opens with Fish and Chips in the College refectory.
2pm The Gathering: Welcome, Intros, First Address & discussions, Feedback.
5pm The Sharing begins: First workshops & encounters, Plenary, Evening Prayer.
7pm An informal evening meal in the refectory.
Saturday April 14th
8am Morning Prayer, Breakfast.
9.30am The sharing continues: Morning assembly, Workshops & Encounters, Plenary.
Lunch. Quiet Time.
3pm The sharing continues: More Workshops & Encounters, Plenary. A Summary
Preparation of the Liturgy.
6.30pm Mass of Thanksgiving
8pm Main Conference Dinner
Sunday April 15th
9am Morning Prayer, Breakfast.
The sharing continues: Morning assembly, Final Address, Group Discussion,
Plenary in the main Hall.
The scattering: Those wishing to remain on after the Conference has concluded can talk with us about how they avail of the opportunity to visit some local attractions. Oxford, Cambridge, York, Alon Towers, the Peak District are all within easy reach of the school.
How do I book ?
Register for the Conference as soon as you can by clicking here and then clicking Register!
You can also make contact with the Headmaster, Dr Cuddihy, directly by emailing him on firstname.lastname@example.org. This is especially important for those travelling longer distances and those who want to discuss options for extending their stay before or after the Conference.
What will it cost ?
The Conference itself is part of our Mount 175 year celebrations and is free of charge. We only ask for each school to make contribution towards the costs of accommodation and meals which we estimate at £125 for those arriving on Friday 13th and departing on Sunday15. We are happy to negotiate a price for those wishing to arrive earlier or stay on after the Conference. In your planning you should allow for a daily charge of approximately £30 per person sharing, full board.
We will help to arrange travel to and from airports at a small cost.