School Leadership Day 2005

All 27 current Rank Foundation Leadership Award holders (scholars) gathered from as far afield as Elgin, Truro and Cumbria at Paddington Arts, specially chosen for its link with the Foundation, for the first School Leadership Day. This is intended to be an annual event.

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The School Fellows at their Leadership day at Paddington Arts

The intention was for the scholars:

  • to gain a greater insight into the Rank Foundation and the Rank Fellowship;
  • to hear different views about the concept of Leadership;
  • to meet each other, some of the Rank Trustees and Executives, and some past Award holders now on the Steering Committee of the Rank Fellowship.

Present Leadership Award Holders are also members of the Rank Fellowship, and are known as School Fellows.

The day was organised from 10am to 3pm and structured across six sessions to ensure a blend of formal presentations with more informal interactive approaches requiring their participation.

  • The day began with Charlie Harris, the Rank Foundation's Director of Youth Projects since 1986, using his long experience to put all at ease before giving some family background to the establishment of the Rank Foundation and the nature of its work. Nick Stuart, Chief Executive of CTVC, outlined the role of CTVC and Peter Attenborough, Administrator of the Fellowship and of the Foundation School Leadership Award Scheme, explained how the Leadership Award Scheme works and why the scholars had been chosen for this Award.
  • Jason Chaffer, Chairman of the Rank Fellowship Steering Committee, described how the Fellowship came about and what its aims and strategies continue to be. He then shared thoughts from his own experience about the personal qualities of top leaders and the dynamics and qualities of leadership.
  • Steve Wilson of the Fellowship Steering Committee discussed the qualities needed to set up one's own business. He reviewed four desirable characteristics in particular:
    • stubborn determination
    • the key need to know one's customer
    • a clear strategy
    • the importance of looking after one's team.
  • Hugh Knowles of the Fellowship Steering Committee led a session that challenged the scholars to think about what we all take for granted in life employing a well rehearsed programme of mind games used for business leaders. He kept them fully engaged and amused on subject matter of serious interest.

After a sandwich lunch provided by a local Mencap group there was a dynamic demonstration of Leadership in Action, as Eldora Edwards from Paddington Arts led all the participants in a pulsating street dance challenging the concentration but by her personality getting them all to participate intently.

The Warden of St Edward's, Andrew Trotman, interacted with the scholars teasing out the various characteristics and opportunities of leadership in a school context. Louisa Searle, Rank Fellow and his previous head Girl, then spoke of her approach to her two week Rank Community Activity Placement, illustrating how one can turn what at first seemed like a chore into what is now a passion.

Mr Packard, Chairman of the Rank Foundation drew proceedings to a close with some meaningful insights and personal anecdotes, challenging the scholars as to how they might give something back to society.

The scholars were invited to complete an electronic questionnaire. The feedback has been very constructive and many of the suggestions made to the organisers will be incorporated into the planning for next year's event.

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