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Manchester High School for Girls

Celebrating 145 Years of Manchester High

A recognition of the great strides women have taken in a range of professions over the last century was today’s theme as girls ranging from aged four to 18 gathered together during an assembly to celebrate 145 years since Manchester High School for Girls was founded. The service was led by Mrs Hewitt, Dr Leach and our Head Girl, India to recognise and give thanks to the School’s pioneering founders.

Manchester High School for Girls was established on 19th January 1874. As the first academic school for girls in the north of England, MHSG paved the way for women’s education. India drew our attention to the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919, which gave women the right to join the Civil Service, practice law and teach at universities. Carrie Morrison, an alumna of Manchester High, graduated from Girton College, Cambridge with First Class Honours, but was refused a degree by the university because she was a woman. She later became the first woman to be admitted to the role of solicitor in the United Kingdom. She was remembered fondly today as a woman of integrity and brilliance.

Mrs Hewitt, who was celebrating her 10th Founders Day as Head Mistress, also noted many other women who entered the legal profession after leaving Manchester High, including Christabel Pankhurst and Edith Hesling, who was the first woman called to the bar at Grey’s Inn.

In the 100th year of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, our archivists have created an exhibition of former pupils who became lawyers, which can be seen in Reception. This exhibition includes Rebecca Trowler QC (Class of 1984), International Director of the Criminal Bar Association, who will return to Manchester High on Monday 4th February to deliver the annual Founders’ Lecture.

Tickets to this event are free, but please book your place with Lex Robinson in the Development Team on 0161 224 0447 or development@mhsg.manchester.sch.uk.