Opera Singer Hits Right Note At Ellen Wilkinson

Rachel Kruger says head teacher is 'perfect job'

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Ealing’s only state school for girls, Ellen Wilkinson, has announced the appointment of a new head teacher

South African-born Rachel Kruger holds degrees in Maths and Music and is also a trained opera singer.

She joined the Science and Maths specialist school in January 2012 as deputy head and has been acting head teacher since September 2013.

She says:

''Since the moment I started teaching I knew I wanted to become head of a girls’ school, so this really feels like my perfect job. From my own personal experience of attending a girls’ school, and what I have experienced professionally I know that educating girls on their own works.

''It allows girls to concentrate on becoming well-rounded, confident and self-aware, free from distractions. Many of our girls have brothers, and most have male friends outside school, but when they’re in school they focus on the work and truly embrace the idea that all subjects are girls’ subjects.’

Established in 1974 The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls was named after the first female Minister for Education in the post-war Labour government. Amongst her achievements was introducing free school milk and raising the school leaving age to 15. Forty years on the school now has 1,400 girls aged 11 to 19.

Ms Kruger says:

''Our focus is on equipping girls to be well-rounded both academically and socially. We have committed mathematicians here who also excel at art, girls who love science and also do well in drama. Their full range of interests is catered for both within the timetable and with lunchtime and after-school clubs.’

'' The world has changed since the school opened in the 1970s; there are now so many more opportunities for women, if we have the skills and self-belief to take them.

''As head teacher my goal is to ensure that every Ellen Wilkinson girl knows that she no longer has a ‘place’ in society she has ‘places’ – and has the education and confidence to go wherever she wants.’

She takes the position from Christine Sydenham who had been headteacher since 2004 and has now retired.



25th March 2014