Long way to go for real girl power

18th June 2004 at 01:00
I was interested to read Kate Bennett's article "Poor example for girls", TES Cymru, June 11).

I was appointed head of a large comprehensive school in south Wales eight years ago. I was already a serving head with eight years' experience in an inner-London comprehensive.

I thought I would be a strong candidate for head of a girls' school.

Imagine my surprise to find, on the first day of interviews, that four out of the six shortlisted candidates were men. I am sad to say that little seems to have changed in my eight years in Wales. Conferences of heads continue to be a sea of "men in grey suits" and I believe there is yet to be a woman director of education appointed here.

It is not for lack of skills, experience and talent among women in management positions. My senior team has three very able women, and my business manager, who is not a teacher, is a woman. Last year one of my female assistant heads was promoted to a deputy headship in a Welsh-medium school.

As head of a girls' school, I have constantly encouraged pupils to aim high and to achieve.

However, if they plan to be teachers, and in particular in secondary schools, how confident can I be? Some serious work needs to be done in Wales to redress this damaging imbalance.

I shall be leaving my school at the end of term to work as an education consultant. My successor is a man.

Irene Mackie 25 Windsor Esplanade, Cardiff

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now