GSA website: Help is just a click away

Girls’ schools have set up a website to reassure parents who are worried about their daughters. Will mums use it?

The Girls’ School Association (GSA) is capitalising on its long experience by launching a new website aimed at parents who are bringing up daughters.

Early responses to Mydaughter.co.uk show that the site has the potential to be a worldwide winner. Five thousand people accessed it in the first three weeks, many from Asia and others from continental Europe and the US, and word is spreading fast. “As far as we know, it is the only site dealing specifically with issues concerning girls,” says Jill Berry, the head of Dame Alice Harpur School, Bedford and president of the GSA.

The site offers articles and guidance on subjects such as the developmental stages of girls, how girls can reach their full potential, eating disorders, bullying, internet safety and relationships. It discusses how to encourage a teenage girl to develop interests, how to help a girl settle at a new school, and what to do about unsuitable friends. Most articles are written by present or former heads.

“The GSA is a tight-knit bunch,” says editor Alison Morris, a former head of Manor House School, Surrey. “We all tend to know each other, and have many years of experience between us. There isn’t a problem that hasn’t passed through our doors over the years, and we know to whom we can turn to deal with different issues.”

The site is responsive to news stories and has turned its attention to anorexia; guidance for single and divorced parents; and the question of whether dyslexia is a myth.

“People can post comments, and we are hoping to draw them in to debate issues,” Morris says. “We want the site to be fully interactive, and a forum where parents can talk to and support each other.” One of the first mothers to contact the site wanted to know where she could buy clothes for her larger daughter, and got suggestions from other parents.

The idea for the site sprang from research commissioned by GSA in 2007 about how parents went about choosing schools for daughters. A thousand parents were asked about this and other issues. They sent back a clear message that they would welcome an advice source on social and educational topics, from questions of body image to personal safety.

Their desire for help reflects an age of mounting parental anxiety, where the confidence of both mothers and fathers can be low and no one seems too sure how to bring up children. Heads of both state and independent schools say they spend more time than ever helping parents with aspects of their children’s education and welfare, and many privately admit astonishment at the high level of support parents now need.

Alison Morris says the site’s resources tap into a well of experience and wisdom, and are intended for all parents, regardless of where they send their children to school. However, as fee-paying schools brace themselves for the effects of recession, the site is also seen as a marketing tool to spread the word on the advantages of independent, single-sex education for girls. It offers help in finding schools, case studies of families who use them, and advice on how to find the fees to pay for them.

Jill Berry says: “Of course, we are championing the cause of girls’ schools, and we wouldn’t want to be dishonest about this. However, we also offer lots of sensible advice from people who really care about girls and who understand the issues about girls’ learning. These issues are not only to do with independent schools, and anyway, girls’ schools are, in themselves, very diverse, including schools of all types, from the highly academic to those catering for pupils with special learning needs.”

The site includes the weekly national newspaper column written by Vicky Tuck, principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, and offers Top 10 tips for parents. These include: keep listening; set boundaries; and remember that academic success is only one way of succeeding.

www.mydaughter.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Do you think you are read...

Cover Supervisor

£60 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The JobSeveral cover supervisors ...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£55 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are seeking special needs...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Sheffield: MFL teacher Required in Don...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game