Why girls only?

Girls are overtaking boys in most subjects at GCSE and A Level – and they’re getting more firsts at university. But this hasn’t altered disparities later in life. A recent survey of women on company boards, and any analysis of MPs, directors, leaders in the community or universities will show that women are still not represented proportionally.

Schools can help – schools like ours. At single-sex schools, girls are the leaders – head of school, captain of games, leader of the debating society. They find their voices, and get used to the challenges of leadership. Similarly, in the classroom they can take intellectual risks, ask questions, or make judgements without worrying about ‘looking stupid in front of boys’.

In short, an all-girls school builds risk-taking and resilience. In working life, these attributes are essential. Young women need to be brave enough to ask a question at a big meeting, or to disagree with the crowd view. They need to be able to handle the vagaries and unfairnesses of life, to try, and fail, and try again.

That which we are, we are, said Tennyson – “… strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

At the Newcastle High, we believe a single-sex education for girls is the best possible preparation for the challenges life will give them.