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Educating Women

In the austere days towards the end of the second world war, my grand-parents were considered either enlightened or very foolish when they allowed my mother to take up the place she was offered  at secondary school.  At the time, most pupils stayed in general schools until the compulsory leaving age of fourteen, only the most academically able being offered transfer to a school that specialised in more adanced education, which catered for young people up to the age of eighteen.  Although places were offered to bright girls,in my grandparents’ class educating girls was considered rather a waste, when they were only going to marry, keep house, and produce and rear children.  Such schools did not charge fees, but providing the uniform and writing equipment was a drain on household expenses, and, more importantly, a girl had to be fed and clothed, even if she was making no contribution to the family finances until long after her fourteenth birthday because she was still at school.
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