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Manchester High School for Girls


On 28th June, we welcomed our final year students back to School to celebrate their achievements during the Sixth Form Presentation Evening.

The event commenced with a speech from former pupil, Frances Bentley (Class of 2003), Drinks Category Buyer at J W Lees. Frances has years of experience in the drinks industry and she is currently studying for the rigorous Master of Wine course; graduated only by 355 people in the world.

Frances spoke about her fascinating career path which ranged from waitressing and sommelier work to wholesaling and brand work and how she progressed within the industry:

“I knew that coming into what can be a bit of a 'closed shop',  it’s not enough to say you are rounded and adaptable; you need to demonstrate it. The drinks industry is a bit of an old school boys club – I made sure I was prepared and qualified for the top jobs it had to offer. I took every opportunity that was available to me to build a depth of experience."

She added: “Manchester High is a unique environment in which women are encouraged to be successful, but also to be themselves. The School gave me the courage to push insecurities and doubts to the side and to throw myself into new challenges to succeed but prepared to fail.”

Frances gave some helpful advise to the girls and urged them to be confident in the decisions they make in the next stage of their lives. She said: "You are all here, not just because you are academically gifted, but because you possess other qualities which are arguably more crucial to your success. Diligence, resourcefulness and flexibility will get you far."

After her inspiring speech, Frances helped present A-level students with School prizes and awards, some of which go back over 100 years. Following the presentations, the girls and their families proceeded to the rose garden and enjoyed drinks and canapés with members of staff and the Chair of Governors.

We look forward to seeing the girls back in School on A-level results day and wish them all the best for the future!

Photos of the event are available on Flickr