Being a Lady

A girls boarding school labelled the ‘poshest’ in England, where Princess Anne was a pupil, is launching a professional diploma to teach girls social skills.

This is probably needed, as these days the younger generation have slipped into a binge drinking and misbehaving trance.

The phenomenon hasn’t missed out anyone it seems, as our general high streets transform at the weekends even in University towns. Ambulance and police presence has increased on streets to pick up the pieces. It does not surprise me that schools have now started to combat this from a young age. Combating this type of behaviour whilst the children have no choice but to attend the lessons is very smart indeed! Even TV programmes are targeting this and one in particular I like is ‘Ladette To Lady’.

Topics such as making small talk and establishing eye contact are on the curriculum, including presentation skills in a business setting in addition to understanding financial accounts.

‘Benenden’ in Kent, which is rumoured to have inspired Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, is to ask its old girls to give classes as part of this course. Famous names including Eliza Manningham – former director general of MI5 and the lawyer Fiona Shakleton. Amongst the possible teachers is Amber Altherthon, star of Made in Chelsea; the entrepreneur has a successful jewellery business which can inspire the girls into the Business world.

The qualification is the first professional diploma to be launched by a private school. It aims to give Beneden’s pupils an edge on the competitive jobs market.

Last week the school’s new Headmistress shared her fears and concerns that today’s CGSE and A-Level courses do not equip her pupils to secure high flying jobs in the city, law, media and medicine sectors. She also said that teenagers, spending most of their time online, lack the social skills that previous generations took for granted. She states the new teaching programme is to prepare pupils for the working world in 2025; looking 10 years ahead sets them apart from other schools and Universities, making the school the first to take this step.

The diploma being offered will cover everything from self presentation, first impressions to work attire. Students will also learn goal setting, team work and self development skills.

The assumption many people have is that gaining a good degree will get you a good job – but the actual truth is that gaining graduate employment has become extremely difficult! You have to try and stand out!

Watching a few black and white movies staring Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marylin Monroe could help on the curriculum too in my opinion!

Until next time,