UK girls’ schools want more female composers, scientists in curriculum

The Reuters press agency (via the Mail) is reporting that a group of top girls’ schools has launched a campaign to make sure important women in history, science and the arts are included in the curriculum to challenge a “default to men” attitude in schools.

The issue was raised by West London student Jessy McCabe, 17, who started a petition calling for more female composers on the music syllabus after realising that none of the 63 composers featured on her A-level course were women…

Girls’ school leaders will publish a list of women they want to be listed for study for future exams, including two-time Nobel laureate Marie Curie, who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity, painter Frida Kahlo, and artist Tracy Emin.

Helen Fraser, chief executive of the Girls’ School Day Trust, a group of independent schools, said there was a real opportunity within education to level the playing field and ensure the achievements of pioneering women were recognised.

“I don’t believe that there is a group of men sitting in the offices of the exam boards saying to themselves ‘how can we exclude women?’… (but) you start to feel that there is a ‘default to men’ wired in to so many of our organisations.”

“Women are excluded, not deliberately, but thoughtlessly,” Fraser said in a statement…

More at: UK girls’ schools want more female composers, scientists in curriculum


See also this from the Sunday Times: Exams out of tune with women’s world (subscription may be required)


Do you support this move to get more important women into the curriculum?

Who would you suggest should be included?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. jwscattergood

    MaryMyatt I agree we need more female role models in all areas. We must also increase the LGBT and minority individuals too.

  2. SachaLG

    SchoolsImprove We sang Elizabeth Maconchy in r school choir but that was 25yrs ago. Will do E. Poston carol this year at r Primary school.

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