Boys need to see women in powerful roles, says school’s first female head

In an article in the Evening Standard, 30/08/13, Anna Davis reports on the announcement that Sarah Fletcher will become the first female head of City of London Boy's School after David Levin leaves next year.

The first female head of a leading London boys’ school has said she hopes her appointment will help students  get used to seeing women in positions of power.

Sarah Fletcher, who takes over at the £13,800-a-year City of London School for Boys next year, said pupils needed both male and female role models to prepare them for the world of work.

Mrs Fletcher, 50, said she was not daunted by being the first female head at the school.

When she takes up the position, she will also become only the second woman ever to head an all-male school that is part of leading private schools group the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.

She said: “It didn’t cross my mind. I honestly believe that it’s what the school stands for that is the most important thing.

“There are more and more women in leadership positions. When the students leave school they will have to interact with women as they do with men, so it’s important they should have women as well as men as role models.”

She added that her style of leadership would not change after moving from her current school, the co-educational Kingston Grammar School, where she has been head for four years.

Mrs Fletcher was educated at a comprehensive school in Wantage, Oxfordshire, and her first teaching job was at all-girls’ Wycombe Abbey School. She has also taught in boys’ schools.

She said: “I have covered the whole gamut. But what’s really important is less whether it’s co-ed or boys or girls, it’s the ethos that matters.

“I believe good schools will be good whatever complexion.”

She has two grown-up sons, one of whom went to a boys’ school while the other went to a mixed school.

Mrs Fletcher will take over from David Levin, who has been head of the school since 1999 and has worked to raise funds for bursaries to enable poorer boys to attend.

She said she hoped to continue his efforts, praising the school’s “ethnic and social diversity”.

Click here to read the article © Evening Standard.