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Learning to Resolve Conflict

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Old Girl Hannah Bradley (1999-2006), who is now a Dispute Resolution Solicitor, returned to Bolton School to deliver an interactive lesson to Sixth Form girls. The PSHEE session focused on dealing with difficult situations and resolving disagreements.

Hannah spoke about various methods that can be used to resolve disputes, including negotiation, mediation, litigation, arbitration, adjudication and expert determination. She discussed the importance of considering each move carefully and working rationally, not emotionally, and above all not responding reactively to difficult situations. She advised the girls to analyse the situation and stick to the facts, know how to respond to weaknesses in their own arguments, and think creatively. She also spoke of the importance of understanding the opponent’s position and working towards a mutually satisfactory conclusion, not a victory.

After this introduction, Hannah handed things over to the Sixth Form students: some girls were given the difficult role of mediators, while others acted as two sides of an example dispute. The girls engaged in lively and constructive debate, putting into action many of the pointers they had been given earlier in the session.

After leaving Bolton School, Hannah qualified as a solicitor in 2013 after studying at the University of Leeds and The University of Law. On the same day, fellow Old Girl Hanna Miraftab, who was in the same year group and is now a dentist and star of The Real Housewives of Cheshire, also returned to speak to Year 11 pupils. These two school friends enjoyed a reunion at lunchtime.

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