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700 Boys and 40 Girls

Rebecca Willis, one of the first girls to attend the all-boy Charterhouse School,  reflects on the extraordinary responses she got to an article she wrote about being one of forty girls amongst seven hundred boys for Intelligent Life and reprinted in the Daily Telegraph. Comments were “full of anger, judgement and a sense of betrayal. Others have been sympathetic and supportive, including a courageous and touching admission from one of my teachers. A few, by former schoolmates who don’t give their names, have been personal and quite nasty. And others, mostly e-mailed to me, confess to deep scars and still-open wounds.” Whatever the the individual viewpoint, it seems everyone is polarized about whether the dog-eat-dog environment was improving or damaging. I wonder how different her reaction to the school environment would have been if she’d come from the rough and tumble of mixed comprehensive school instead of and all-girls’ grammar (unlikely, I know).

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