Inspiring talk with Baroness Scotland

22 Jan 2024

At a time when young people are more engaged than ever in global issues of equality and justice, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, visited King’s School Rochester for a thought-provoking talk and interactive Q&A session with pupils, staff and guests including Councillor Alex Paterson and pupils from the Walderslade and Greenacre Schools Partnership.

Baroness Scotland, a prominent figure in law, public service and politics, shared her truly inspiring and ground-breaking journey. Starting from her Caribbean roots in Dominica, she made history as both the first black and the youngest woman to be appointed Queen’s Counsel and the only woman to be appointed Attorney General for England and Wales since the position was established in 1315.

During her talk, she imparted a wealth of invaluable advice to pupils, emphasising the importance of discovering what you are most passionate about. She provided the pupils with a unique perspective on overcoming barriers as she impressed the importance of hard work, education and pride in her heritage as the ethics that have guided her through her remarkable career path. Her trailblazing achievements in law and leadership in the Commonwealth are a testament to what can be accomplished through resilience and commitment to your values.

It was clear how much the pupils valued her advice, here are just a few of their comments:

“One of the most memorable things she talked about was the idea of the division between people who want to be something and people who want to do something, it really gave me a new perspective.” (Lina, Upper Sixth)

“I took from her speech that she has had a very crazy and exciting life. But has also managed to hone in on her skills and made the most of them helping others and becoming an essential part of politics. Her comments on being good enough and having the power to do anything really were the main points I took away from it.” (Bobby, Lower Sixth)

“I found Baroness Scotland’s speech and her story of how she achieved her career goals incredibly inspiring. I especially admired the welcoming confidence and humour she carried with her. The main part I took away from meeting Baroness Scotland was that for the future, I need to picture myself doing a career rather than being in a career to make sure I end up working in the field that is right for me.” (Lennox, Lower Sixth)

“It was fantastic, it is amazing to see people in politics talking positively about their jobs rather than the constant arguing and negativity you see in the news and media.” (James, Upper Sixth)

“I couldn’t move away from her…she was incredible.  I couldn’t believe I was talking to someone like her.”

“She really inspired me.  What she said about being someone who does things really meant something to me.”

“I loved her.  She was amazing.  She has so much energy, and she was so kind.”

“It felt like my jaw was on the ground the whole time I was with her!”

Previously, Former Prime Minister David Cameron also visited King’s School Rochester, as part of the Chadlington Lecture series.

Mr Cameron was an extremely engaging speaker, sharing with pupils some of the key issues relating to his Premiership, the highs and lows of leading the country and the lessons that can be learned from his experiences.

King’s School Rochester