Exams not the key to happiness, says teacher at £23,000-a-year girls’ school

The Telegraph is reporting that a teacher at a leading independent girls’ school has “courted controversy” by insisting examination results are not the key to a happy and successful future. 

Blanche Girouard, who teaches religious education at the £23,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School, wrote in a national magazine that there was something “enviable” about the bygone era when girls were not pushed academically. 

She concluded that “happiness and success don’t turn on A*s and a place at Oxford”. 

The teacher at the west London school is now expected to face a backlash after appearing to suggest some girls may have been happier in the time when they were expected to marry rather than go to university. 

Writing for The Oldie magazine Ms Girouard argued that “something has gone very wrong” with education.

Ms Girouard bemoaned how “today’s girls aren’t going on nature walks or learning poetry off by heart – they’re cramming their heads full of facts”.

She went on describe the former era when “everything seemed to be geared towards marriage” and “parents really didn’t seem to care” about educating girls. 

She acknowledged that it seemed “heinous” that many parents historically had little or no ambition for bright daughters. 

But the teacher added: “And yet there are aspects of that era that are enviable.

“Back then nobody cared about exams.” 

…She adds: “It’s time we backed off and gave today’s girls the time and space to work out what they actually want … Happiness and success don’t turn on A*s and a place at Oxford…” 

More at: Exams not the key to happiness, says teacher at £23,000-a-year girls’ school


What do you make of these comments from Blanche Girouard?

We know girls tend to do better than boys in exams, but is there a danger this is because they matter much more to them, and possibly to an unhealthy degree?

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