A teacher at a leading independent’s girl school in the UK has insisted examination results are not the true key to a successful and happy future.
She stated that “happiness and success don’t turn on A*s and a place at Oxford”.
Given her profession (and how much parents are paying for their daughters to attend her school), Blanche Girouard’s comments are pretty startling and, although many may agree with the concept that academic achievements are not the be-all and end-all, it’s the context of her statements which have really caused controversy.
Writing in a national magazine, the religious education teacher at the £23,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School pointed to a bygone era when educating girls wasn’t considered important and everything was geared towards marriage rather than university.
In her article for The Oldie magazine, she acknowledged that it seemed “heinous” that many parents historically had little or no ambition for bright daughters, but added “and yet there are aspects of that era that are enviable”.
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”.
The crux of her controversial argument is that “back then nobody cared about exams”
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.
Although Ms Girouard declined to expand on her article, a number of parents have branded the teacher’s views “old fashioned”.