Girls’™ school conference report

Louise Higson gives her perspective on the talks and discussions at this year’s Girls’ Schools Association heads’™ conference

I have just returned to school after the annual Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) heads’ conference, which this year was held in London at the historic National Liberal Club in One Whitehall Place. The theme of the conference was ‘Let’s Talk Education Now’, and we certainly did that! It was an opportunity to step away from the nitty-gritty of everyday school life, listen to several excellent speakers, reflect on one’s own practice and share the experience of school leadership and education with like-minded individuals.

Professor Dame Carol Black spoke about women and how they can aspire, achieve and be confident; something that sits well with our ethos at Farlington. We were intrigued by Dr JoAnn Deak, who focused on the neurological wiring of children and adolescents, and explained why multi-tasking is, in fact, an impossibility; the brain does not multitask! For me one of the highlights of the conference was listening to Professor Tanya Byron, clinical psychologist, highlighting the dangers of being obsessed with IQ to the detriment of EQ. We should be encouraging our students to ‘know’, ‘do’ and ‘be’, and helping them to discover those personal attributes which are fundamental to the successful application of IQ.

As a group, the GSA heads run schools of all shapes and sizes, but we are brought together by our passion for educating girls. For me, it is a great privilege to be leading a school which provides young women with the opportunity for an outstanding all-round education. An education which instils in them the knowledge, skills and self-belief to go out into the world and shape their own future; they, as we must not forget, are the leaders of tomorrow. 

Louise Higson is headmistress of Farlington School W: www.farlingtonschool.net

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