Student Conferences and Empowerment Sessions

Ursuline students lead two conferences each year. Students from other schools are invited to join them to consider themes of importance to their future success. The purpose of these events is to motivate students and help them to gain knowledge and understanding of the world beyond school, to draw action plans to support their own learning and also to build up the skills needed to realise their own potential. The conferences are interactive and the tailored activities are designed to enhance the students experience.


2018 Education Equality and Social Mobility Conference

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July 2018

Led by experts in the field, Year 12 students from the Ursuline and Wimbledon College explored the extent, and causes of inequality and lack of social mobility in the UK today and the part that our Education System has to play in promoting social mobility. Together they developed action plans designed to ensure that every child, whatever the circumstances their birth, she or he can have an equal opportunity for success. Speakers included David Johnston OBE, Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, Kiri Tunks, President of the NUT (NUE), Dr Jamie Whyte, Director of Research from the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Matt Bullimore from Churchill College, Cambridge and Fr Michael Holman SJ. Professor Claire Ozanne, Deputy Provost, Roehampton University also supported students’ learning.

The Conference was held in partnership with TEAM (GLOBAL) This conference is organised in partnership with The European-Atlantic Movement a non-political educational charity. TEAM Global was founded over fifty years ago to promote understanding of how countries could cooperate for their mutual benefit, focusing on the whole global community and on issues such as human rights, democracy, the environment, the economy and international development.

“I now understand what social mobility is, how it is measured and its importance to our society and that  there is so much more than just school determines how bright your future might be.” 


“It is useful to have the chance to take part in debates outside normal lessons and learn about the gap in opportunity between young people from different incomes and social groups.” 


“I gained new perspectives… hearing from great speakers who are working towards greater social mobility." 


2018 #Pressforprogress Women Transforming our Church and Our Wold Conference

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5th March 2018

In partnership with, Catherine of Sienna College, University of Roehampton, Ursuline ran this conference for 6th Form students in celebration of International Women’s Day 2018. Led by Tina Beattie, Professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton, the aim of the conference was to empower young women to respond to the current strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. We want to empower every young Catholic woman to work towards transforming our Church and our world.

Students from 4 Catholic High Schools reflected on their faith and considered how as young Catholic women they can become agents of change in our Church and our world.  How they can contribute towards their sense of personal identity and how they can to speak out on issues of justice, equality, peace and environmental sustainability.

Speakers include Ursula Halligan, journalist, until last year Political Editor of TV3 (Ireland’s only commercial TV channel) and Mishal Francis from HOPE Human Development and Welfare Association an organisation that supports Christians in Pakistan.

A huge thank you to Professor Beattie, Roehampton University, Digby Stuart College and Catherine of Siena College for the sponsorship of this conference.

Student comments on what they took from the day

“Learning about the speakers life and how they encountered God..”


“...different perspectives about the link between women and Catholicism, giving more depth to my understanding”


“To be more confident and have the self-belief that my faith can and will support me” 



Other words students used to describe their learning

“Inspirational, thought-provoking, interesting, enlightening, moving, understanding, deep, supportive, interactive, enjoyable, informative, helpful, meaningful"

2018 International Womens Day


8th March 2018

Alongside our Sixth Form Conference (Women of Faith; Leading the Change), we celebrated International Women’s Day with Year 10 students urging all students to #pressforprogress in assemblies during the week of International Women’s Day. Students called for action to achieve a quicker pace of change, in the face of the recent World Economic Forum Global

2017 International Womens Day


8th March 2017

We challenged our students to think how they could be #BeBoldForChange in order to help forge a better working world and a inclusive, gender equal world. Which was the theme for this International Women's Day. Our girls were shown examples of women who have not only changed their own lives, but the lives of those around them.

Students were asked to think of the most important 'values' and powers needed in order to bring about such change.

Most popular words included;

Perserverance, Determination, Genorosity, Confidence

Equality, Respect, Friendship, Courage

2016 Women of Faith; Leading the Change


November 2016

On Thursday 10th November an inspiring, hopeful and empowering conference took place in Westminster- Women of Faith; Leading the Change. 420 Sixth Form students, staff and invited guests from 17 schools celebrated our schools 125th Anniversary. Together the young women from different faith backgrounds explored how influenced by the values of their faith they can use their powers, choices and voices to lead change.

Students heard from diverse speakers including Reverend Rose Hudson Wilkin, Chaplain to the Queen, Margaret Mizen, Dr Christine Pierce from Great Ormond Street, Theologian, Professor Tina Beattie, Professor Susan Vinnicombe, Professor of Women and Leadership. There were also student speeches on women’s religious freedoms, the Syrian refugee crisis, democracy and mental health which were equally poignant!

The day was enriched by the wonderful music of the incredible Soul Sanctuary choir who had everyone on their feet singing. There was also a remarkable art installation What Women Believe produced by the Three Faiths Forum in collaboration with artist Tessa Brown and photographer Ruth Corney and contributions form Ursuline Students. The day was a celebration of the potential of all young women, who are growing up at a time and in a place here in London, a truly multicultural city, where young women will have more power and influence than ever before. Young women from diverse faith backgrounds were able to learn together about the values they share and their ambitions for the future.

We hope that all our young women inspired by the excellent education they have received, will be able to bring a new ethos to our world, challenging complacency and outdated norms of behaviour and hopefully bringing new perspectives and approaches to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. In particular we hope that as young women take their place in the world they will recognise the values they have in common and support each other to lead a change for the better. Students together created ‘found’ poems from the speeches and discussions throughout the day. These give a clear idea of the incredible engagement and enthusiasm shown by girls throughout the conference.