In yesterday's Daily Telegraph (25.4.12), the Mandrake column reports on Good Schools Guide owner Lord Ralph Lucas's visit to the school on Monday 23rd April for a debate on Girls' Single Sex Education in the 21st century. Lord Lucas was invited to speak at the event after his views on single sex education caused uproar at last year's Girls' Schools Association national conference, presided over by Dr Wright, when he said he believed girls' schools had no future.
Other GSA schools including Burgess Hill, Godolphin, Croydon High and St Francis' College attended the day and fielded teams for a School Debating Competition which was won by Godolphin. The motions 'This House believes the Internet is harmful to literacy' and 'This House believes that appearance has become more important than substance in the Arts' were debated.
Lord Lucas also took part in a panel discussion chaired by former St Mary's parent, businesswoman and writer Lynne Copp, and featuring pupils and former pupils of the schools attending, on the future of girls' schools in the 21st Century.
Lord Lucas said he felt girls' schools needed to do more research to prove their case and to prove they could educate girls to make more of the challenges they would face in life such as combining work and motherhood than girls educated at a co-educational school.
Lynne Copp said she was sure the generations were changing and that 'men conditioned like yourself, Lord Lucas' would give way to a different culture as younger men used to more equality took their place.
Dr Wright concluded the debate by stressing that girls' schools were the 'engine for bringing about changes in society'. She said: 'I recently told my eight-year-old son that not long ago women were expected to give up work when they got married. He replied with an incredulous look 'that's insane!'.'