Head says female pupils should become modern suffragettes

  • 22nd November 2023

Marina Gardiner Legge

Oxford High School’s headteacher Marina Gardiner Legge has encouraged female pupils to “challenge bias” in society and become “modern suffragettes” to help create a fairer world.

Gardiner Legge was speaking in her capacity as president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) at its annual conference in Cirencester where she highlighted the benefits of girls-only education.

She added: “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.”

“[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.”

Gardiner Legge said girls’ schools’ alumnae are “flipping the script and starting to solve the problems women face”.

She went to: “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.

“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.”

Oxford High School is a private day school in Oxford for girls aged four to 18.

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