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Girls' schools 'encourage ambition'
Girls should not see ambition as a "dirty concept", a leading headmistress has said.
Young women need to be encouraged to develop their ambitions, whether they are personal or academic, according to Rhiannon Wilkinson, head of Wycombe Abbey School.
She suggested that girls' schools allow their pupils to take risks and to pursue their ambitions by providing a stimulating environment.
Her comments came as Wycombe Abbey, a private girls' boarding school in Buckinghamshire, topped an A-level league table for the sixth year running.
Sixth-formers at the school notched up a string of A* and A grades between them, with each student gaining an average combined A and AS-level UCAS point score of 508. This is almost four A* grades each.
Mrs Wilkinson, who has just taken over as headmistress, praised the girls and said their results were "fantastic". She said she believed that the boarding environment that the school provides helped support their success.
She said: "You are supported by academic staff who will support you with your learning and are always there for you. Pupils also get support from each other and learn how to balance their work and personal life, and are able to get involved with other activities such as sport, music and drama, as well as having time with their friends."
Mrs Wilkinson also said that the latest tables show that girls' schools continue to dominate, with six in the top 10, along with one boys' school and three mixed schools. She added: "There's a stimulating environment in girls' schools. Ambition isn't such a dirty concept."
The new A-level table, based on data provided by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), reveals that Cardiff Sixth Form College was second nationally for results this year. It is the first time that the college, which joined ISC in the past year, has been included in the tables.
Overall, the ISC said that 51.3% of A-level entries from fee-paying schools scored at least an A this year, compared to 51.4% last year. And 18% of entries got an A*, the same proportion as last year.