LETTER: Successful girls

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The Independent Online
From Miss Elspeth V. Insch

Sir: It is obvious that schools such as mine, which are able to select their pupils, will get better GCSE and A-level results than their neighbours which cannot. League tables in the past few years have shown this.

However, the recent report from Manchester University seems to have overlooked some important points ("Success of single-sex schools is challenge", 17 August).

Teaching in selective schools can be constantly geared to stretching the most able. The content may be determined by the National Curriculum, fortunately the teaching style is not. I am convinced that we give our girls an intellectual advantage.

Secondly, girls in single-sex schools are able to develop away from the pressures put on them by immature teenage boys. They are able to take positions of leadership; there are no league tables of beauty or sexual availability; there are no accusations of lack of femininity if girls choose science subjects or take part in engineering schemes.

Yours sincerely,

Elspeth V. Insch

Headmistress

King Edward VI

Handsworth School

Birmingham

21 August

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