The president of the Girls’ Schools Association will lay down a challenge today for independent girls’ schools to embrace apprenticeships.
In a speech today, Charlotte Avery will also say there is a “leaky pipeline” of women moving into education leadership roles, which urgently needs to be addressed through better succession planning.
Speaking at the GSA’s annual conference for headteachers in Manchester, Ms Avery will ask: “[Is] our careers provision… as forward-thinking as it could be?
“What should HE [higher education] advice look like for our girls? How will the introduction of ‘high-level’ apprenticeships affect our students’ post-school choices?
"Ask yourselves how '50 per cent of our students go on to apprenticeships’ might sound in your school’s marketing materials, after generations of saying, ‘100 per cent go on to university’.”
Ms Avery will also highlight that only 37 per cent of secondary school heads are female.
“This is an issue for all of us,” she will say. “GSA schools, as well as the sector more widely, need strong, committed and passionate women with vision in leadership roles, and we must start now in our succession planning for a future of inspirational women leaders.”
'Gender bias in the workplace'
The GSA is working with Bright Field Consulting and the Association of State Girls’ Schools on a mentoring programme for female leaders, which aims to pair two high-performing mentors with two prospective senior leaders – one from a GSA school and one from an ASGS school.
Ms Avery will also say that the GSA should focus on “key areas of future life”, including “gender bias in the workplace”.
Many of its member schools have supported the Dads4Daughters campaign, which aims to encourage men to play their part as "Manbassadors" who advocate for gender equality at work.
“By engaging with fathers, we hope to encourage men to consider how they would like their daughters to be treated in the workplace, and reflect on their own workplace behaviour in terms of gender equality,” Ms Avery will say.