Girls-only schools give girls a head start… | Portsmouth High School

Girls-only schools give girls a head start…

girls-only schools

This week I attended the farewell reception for our former Chief Executive, Helen Fraser, in London and I can report that she received a fitting tribute to mark her seven years with the Trust.

On the same day I read an article, written by Helen, entitled Channelling your Inner Cheerleader. She writes that the world is designed for men and uses as evidence the fact that if you count the extras in a crowd scene in a film only a maximum of 17% will be women. She remarks on the 20% barrier and the fact that most top professions have only 20% women. Apparently this male bias extends to video games and even emojis where female characters are stereotypically ballerinas, brides and princesses whereas the male characters may be police officers, builders and swimmers.

Fortunately for your daughters they already have a head start. As Helen says “being at a girls-only school really helps. It’s the way in which we coax girls away from perfect good girl behaviours enabling them to take risks in the classroom with their thinking”.  Our girls have the values promoted by

girls-only schools

the GDST of confidence, courage, commitment and composure. Our pupils are encouraged to develop grit by being their own cheerleader and coping with whatever life deals them. When I attended the Girls’ School Global Forum in New York last February I heard Tara Christie Kinsey, former Associate Dean of Princeton, say that the confidence of women students in her college dropped steadily over the four years they attended with the noticeable exception of students who had attended girls’ schools and those who played on sports teams.

I have been invited to speak at a military dinner on the topic of what motivates women to choose a career.  The armed forces battle an under-recruitment of women which is something they would like to address and wisely turned to the GDST to provide an insight as to how they may improve their appeal to females. Therefore, if you are female and reading this with an opinion on what attracted you to a particular career choice I would welcome hearing from you. Please email me at