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Manchester High School for Girls


Can you help with Manchester High’s Sixth Form mentoring scheme, Project Pankhurst?

“What do you want to be when you finish university?” is perhaps an all too familiar question for our Sixth Form students. While a number of girls have a clear idea about the path they want to take, others are still weighing up a world of possibilities.

Whatever stage our girls are at, there is no doubt that when the time comes they will be entering a competitive job market, one where university leavers have to fight it out for a limited supply of attractive roles.

Add to this that, thanks to the advancement of technology, today’s young people face the frustrating challenge of preparing for careers that may not even exist yet, and choosing a route for further education suddenly becomes a lot harder!

In order to prepare our girls for the world beyond academia, Manchester High offers a unique mentorship scheme in the Sixth Form; Project Pankhurst.

Sarah Norton, Director of Sixth Form Studies, explained the idea behind the programme, launched in 2016:

Mrs Sarah Norton, Director of Sixth Form Studies

“Manchester High students are justly proud of the School’s connection to the Pankhurst sisters. This scheme enables our network of highly accomplished alumnae to uphold that Pankhurst legacy by offering their support to current students as they prepare to enter the next phase of their life. We’re looking for members of the alumnae community to come forward and act as a mentor to a Sixth Form student who is interested in the area or specific industry in which they work.

“Once connected, mentor and mentee can arrange the level of input and contact required depending on need; it really is all about what works best for the individuals. For example, it could be something as light-touch as a one-off advice session, with the student being able to email follow up questions, or it could be more structured with more regular meetings and even some hands-on work shadowing.”

As students go on to study a wide range of subjects, Manchester High is looking for an equally broad range of mentors with expertise in a variety of fields. The idea is to match girls with whatever it is that the alum can offer. It could be all, or any of the following:

  • Current knowledge and experience of your area of work
  • Advice and strategies for how to get ahead in the industry
  • Contacts for potential work shadowing/experience
  • General advice about CVs, letters of application etc.

Lex Robinson, Alumnae and Development Manager, commented:

“Project Pankhurst has gone from strength to strength over the last two years, and as we look to launch the programme with the latest Sixth Form students, we are committed to developing stronger links across the Manchester High community. Our alumnae are a fantastic asset and we know that many women want to continue their involvement with the school long after they leave.

“Project Pankhurst helps to create a network of live links between past and present students and we urge people to get involved. What you commit to is completely up to you, but know that whatever you offer will undoubtedly make a real difference to help a Manchester High girl of today get ahead.”

Eleanor, who began her mentorship with Class of 2009 alumna Anna Szczerkowska last year, describes her experience of Project Pankhurst:

"I found the mentorship invaluable and was lucky to have found such a good mentor in Anna, who in less than a year has helped me decide what I want to do with my future and the vast options I can take before and after going to university.  I still regularly email my mentor and have several Skype sessions set up for the near future.  As I go through the higher education system she is an important contact to have for my future."

If you  would like to take part in the mentoring scheme, please contact Alumnae and Development Manager Lex Robinson no later than 12th October at with the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact details
  • Year you left MHSG
  • Profession/job title
  • University degree/training background
  • The level of mentoring you would like to offer
  • Please provide an up to date photograph
  • If you could give a mentee one useful hint/tip, what would that be?
  • Would you be willing to mentor multiple pupils? If so, how many?