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Surbiton High School students champion The Female Lead

The Female Lead book and teaching resources have now reached 5,000 schools, or approximately 500,000 school children!

One school in particular that has really championed The Female Lead book is Surbiton High School. Surbiton High School aims to inspire, encourage and empower all students. Students are inspired to discover and embrace their individuality, encouraged to grow in compassion and respect, and every student is empowered to thrive.

In the Autumn term, Vice Principal Mrs Hannah Horwood celebrated women of all walks of life in an assembly that sparked numerous exciting and energised conversations amongst the students and teachers. Following on from the assembly, students were asked to add their voice to the ‘Wall Of Opinion’, which led to the girls questioning: ‘What do we need to do to address gender equality?’ and ‘Who are your female role models?’.

To answer these questions, Surbiton High School turned to The Female Lead book and teaching resources during their Personal, Social, Health Education lessons. The Female Lead teaching resources are designed to encourage students to engage with the stories of the 60 Female Leads in the book and enable students to find resources in these women’s stories, which will help them on their own journeys to success.

The students explored five key themes that emerged from The Female Lead interviews as hallmarks of successful females. The 60 women featured in the book talk about the personal qualities, values and strategies that they believe were critical in helping them to build their careers and their lives, and the same five themes recurred time and again through the 60 interviews.

  1. Feed Your Passions

  2. Stay Curious

  3. Dare to be Different

  4. Ask for Help

  5. Find Strength in Setbacks

The students at Surbiton High School led discussions and presentations on “The Importance of Role Models” and “Breaking Down the Barriers”. They have developed their skills in leadership, negotiation, reflection, empathy and conflict resolution. The students left the lessons feeling encouraged, inspired and empowered, and the resources invoked discussions at a deep level as they considered the importance of role models in today’s society. The students of Surbiton High School are the next generation of ‘Female Leads’ and will be going on to tread their own paths, achieve across industries and shape the world.

“Role models don’t have to be well-known and can be anyone around us. It is worth remembering and respecting that gender equality can be achieved with the recognition that all our differences are complementary and so consequently, we all have a responsibility to shape our world.” Miss Keers, Surbiton High School

If you would like to share your experience with The Female Lead book, or request a copy of the Teaching Resources, please email

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