Shropshire Star

Female pupils encouraged to ‘challenge bias’ to create fairer world

Society needs the power of the ‘modern suffragette’ to challenge the status quo, according to the president of the Girls’ School Association.

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Marina Legge Gardiner comments

Female pupils are encouraged to “challenge bias” in society to help create a fairer world for all, a leading headteacher will say.

Marina Gardiner Legge, headteacher of Oxford High School, will say the power of “the modern suffragette” is needed to challenge the status quo.

Mrs Gardiner Legge, president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), will give a speech where she will highlight the benefits of girls-only education.

She will tell headteachers at the GSA’s two-day conference in the Cotswolds: “In our schools and as school leaders, we seek to unleash girls and their full brilliance to confidently go out into the world to challenge bias.

“Girls’ schools are helping to create a fairer world through our pupils who are, and always have been, firebrands and trailblazing campaigners.”

The GSA president will add: “(Girls) need to understand how to speak up and speak out, and what to do when the world isn’t ready to hear you – to harness persistence and resilience and that inner sense of determination and moral courage to continue knocking on the door even when it is closed to you – or appears to be.”

In a speech to more than 150 leaders of girls’ schools on Monday, Mrs Gardiner Legge will argue that alumnae of girls’ schools are “flipping the script and starting to solve the problems women face.”

The GSA president will cite Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone’s Invited website which highlights victims’ stories of sexual abuse, as an example.

Mrs Gardiner Legge will say: “The world needs young women of influence and persistence, who won’t take no for an answer but will inspire others and challenge until organisations do what is right, rather than what is easy.”

Addressing school leaders at the conference near Cirencester, she will add: “Our world desperately needs the voices and presence of women in every sphere. We do not need more people happy with the status quo – we need the power of the activist – the modern suffragette.”

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