You're the headmistress of Oxford High School for girls.
How many girls do you have here?
We have 650 girls.
In your experience, do girls do better academically and later professionally in single-sex schools?
Yes. I think they do better academically and you can measure that very crudely from examination results.
I also think they do better academically
because they have more opportunities to take the leading role in discussions and in managerial responsibilities.
I think they see the role models of the chief positions in the school being held by women.
I wonder if you could say then, in a few words, what the advantages are for a girl at a single-sex school.
Well, I think within the classroom, she is going to have full opportunity to express her own opinions.
She isn't going to be shouted down by over-confident young gentlemen.
Are teenagers in particular, do you think, sheltered too much from contact with the opposite sex?
Does this cause them difficulties when they find themselves in mixed groups?
Well, I would like to find the parents who could shelter girls from the opposite sex if they live in Oxford.
They encounter boys all the time socially out of school,
and through debating societies and things like that, some school activities as well.
So, no disadvantages at all?
I don't think there are any disadvantages.
I think that is grossly overstated that one needs to have contact with the opposite sex right through the whole of life,
in the classroom and outside the classroom and at all ages.