Bruton School for Girls was delighted to welcome Dr Helen Pankhurst, women’s rights activist and great-grandaughter of famous suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, as the guest speaker for its annual end of year Speech Day on 30th June 2018.
Helen’s address to the girls centred on the importance of their education giving them freedom of choice for their futures. She challenged them to think about how they would like to be remembered, using the positive personal qualities they have developed at BSG with the mnemonic ‘suffragette’ - spirited, unrestrained, feisty, fun and energised were all words which spoke to the girls and which they were urged to think about and reflect on as they go through life.
Nicky Botterill, Headmistress, said: “We were thrilled when Helen agreed to come to Speech Day to talk to the girls and wider audience. It is particularly special to us in this centenary year of the birth of women’s suffrage. We are also very proud that one of our pupils, Ella in Senior 1, is Helen’s niece and a direct descendent of the pioneering Pankhurst name.”
Dr Pankhurst has worked for a range of international development organisations in the UK and Africa, and is currently senior advisor to CARE International. She is passionate about keeping the legacy of her famous relatives – Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst – alive and in February 2018 published Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.
Over 700 people enjoyed a gloriously sunny Speech Day to celebrate the end of a very successful year for the school which was founded in 1900 to educate girls.