I was rather inspired to have the interview on that day and, having visited the school back in January, I had already fallen in love with St. Helen’s College and what it stood for in the educational world. There was so much to achieve and I was very aware that the competition was strong – and I was up against ‘men’!
A year later we celebrated International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8th March and as I reflect on the past year I feel grateful for the opportunity that I have in being the new Head here at St. Helen’s College.
A thriving co-educational prep school is becoming more and more unique - many prep schools are traditionally single sex or have attempted to go co-ed and have not really succeeded. But here at St. Helen’s College, being co-ed really is the recipe for success. Girls and boys are educated side by side in an environment of mutual respect and equal opportunities for all. Our curriculum is rich in diversity and balance and there is no bias shown to either gender in the subjects or experiences on offer. The pupils develop their social awareness and build their characters to appreciate and to understand who they are as an individual, not just as a ‘girl’ or a ‘boy’. They learn that they are all capable of achieving their dreams by working hard, persevering and staying true to who they are.
Around the world over the past few years many influential leaders (both male and female) and companies have been supporting the pledge for greater parity for women and girls, to help them to achieve their ambitions and to challenge that conscious/unconscious bias. The work of International Women’s Day must continue as alas the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait.
It is up to us all as educators and parents to instil good moral ethics and values, to eradicate any gender inequalities and to ensure that our pupils feel confident and will go boldly to new situations where they are proud of who they are regardless of gender!