Eton/Harrow - Girls' equivalent?

(76 Posts)
receiverofopiniongiver Sun 27-Feb-11 09:25:28

My teenage daughter asked me yesterday - what is the equivalent girls school to Eton/Harrow?

i.e. what is the school that anywhere in the world you said x people would know of it, and know what the education gave.

I struggled with the answer.

cheltenham ladies college?
rodean?

Hardandsleazy Sun 27-Feb-11 09:28:36

St pauls
North London collegiate

DuplicitousBitch Sun 27-Feb-11 09:29:57

none of these places are equivelent, there is no equivelent really.

Hardandsleazy Sun 27-Feb-11 09:30:50

Fwiw I am not sure there is an equivalent mainly due to
Culture and history making it a comparatively recent thing that you have women in positions of influence in the way you think of eton or harrow . There is probably a better argument about the female colleges in Oxford or Cambridge as fair few female politicians etc came through these

Sequins Sun 27-Feb-11 09:31:34

I would have thought same as Gladys for poshness, also Benenden. St Pauls etc. are more the equivalent of somewhere like Westminster: posh + intelligent pupils

meditrina Sun 27-Feb-11 09:35:45

Benenden and Roedean, definitely.

Single sex, boarding, "posh", internationally known and royal connexions.

This is not necessarily the same as being the most academic, or the "best" (whatever that means to you).

PatientGriselda Sun 27-Feb-11 09:36:48

Badminton?

receiverofopiniongiver Sun 27-Feb-11 09:41:25

Thanks for that. It's also interesting the other points about posh+intelligent, and then academic etc.

As she was then asking me how different independent schools compared to themselves.

I ended up saying the same way that there are:

highly selective state schools
very good comprehensive schools
average comprehensive schools
and sink schools

that privates could almost be put into those categories (although sink independent I was classing as why spend your money, rather than failing).

thinkingaboutschools Sun 27-Feb-11 15:30:58

I would put Wycombe Abbey into that category

carmenetonense Sun 27-Feb-11 16:05:47

Agree with Hardandsleazy . The famous boys' schools were founded over 500 years ago with vast endowments from powerful figures, like Henry 8th. there are blessed with enormous wealth and resources and 500 years of history, tradition and powerful alumni to add fascination to their stories and reputations and further money to their coffers in the form of legacies.

In comparison, the first girls' independent school was North London Collegiate (1850). Cheltenham Ladies' College was founded in 1853 and Wycombe Abbey in 1896. All were founded by strong and redoubtable females.

None have huge endowments and given that women were not even fully enfranchised until 80 years ago, neither do they have large numbers of financially successful alumni to contribute a lot of money (though some do) and they don't have 500 years worth of wonderful stories and traditions or hugely powerful female pupils.

A shame don't you think?

TheDoorBell Sun 27-Feb-11 16:06:00

I agree with all the options posted above - would throw in City of London School for girls into the mix though.

FloreatEtonia Sun 27-Feb-11 18:21:52

ROFL at CLGS! shock

I would say Cheltenham Ladies, Wycombe Abbey and St Mary's Ascot.

Definitely not Rodean or Beneden.

eatyourveg Sun 27-Feb-11 18:31:01

Cheltenham ladies and St Pauls

peteneras Sun 27-Feb-11 20:06:11

The famous boys' schools were founded over 500 years ago with vast endowments from powerful figures, like Henry 8th.

Do you mean Henry 6th?

carmenetonense Sun 27-Feb-11 20:32:56

Sorry, yes, Eton founded by Henry 6th. Winchester in late 1300's, Westminster about 200 years earlier. So an even longer history than I claimed.

meditrina Sun 27-Feb-11 20:49:48

If date of foundation were the key requirement, then you'd be going back way, way before that to St Peter's York which began in 627 AD.

To go back to OP, what are the key points in thing to work out equivalence? Is boarding an important part? I assumed it wasn't academic results (as Westminster wasn't on the list), but rather global standing and instant recognition from the name.

jackstarb Sun 27-Feb-11 21:00:14

Carmen

"In comparison, the first girls' independent school was North London Collegiate (1850). Cheltenham Ladies' College was founded in 1853 and Wycombe Abbey in 1896. All were founded by strong and redoubtable females."

The Lady Eleanor Holles is 300 years old - I can't believe it's the oldest girls school. However, I agree with all your other points on endowments and influence.

peteneras Sun 27-Feb-11 21:07:08

Can’t speak for the OP or her daughter, of course, but I think what they meant was global standing and instant recognition. That's him there, carmenetonense, standing right in the middle of schoolyard!

meditrina Sun 27-Feb-11 21:10:07

Fascinating list of the oldest schools here. There are two which pre-date St Peter's (King's School Canterbury and King's School Rochester).

The Red Maids School, Westbury-on-Trim, (founded 1634) appears to be the oldest surviving school for girls.

freshmint Sun 27-Feb-11 21:12:00

global standing - cheltenham ladies college

that's about it I think

Hardandsleazy Sun 27-Feb-11 21:27:56

Dunno about Lady Eleanor Holles but suspect it may be like James Allen (about 260 years old) which was orginally mixed.

That link to oldest schools is actually to hmrc site on vat.

carmenetonense Sun 27-Feb-11 21:28:56

Oops - please excuse my inaccuracies - I didn't check my facts. Would love to see the correct list Meditrina - the link seems to be to a Customs and Revenue site about take away food!smile

meditrina Sun 27-Feb-11 21:31:35

Oh rats! I can usually do links!

The one I meant is this. Definitely not VAT regulations this time!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now