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Headmistress of the first girl's comprehensive school

Dame Margaret Miles (1911-1994)



One of our hidden heroines, Dame Margaret Miles, was at the forefront of fighting for comprehensive educational reform in the 1960s as she was the headmistress of the first girl’s comprehensive school (Mayfield School in Putney).

Miles believed that large neighbourhood schools were the only way of making good the ideal of secondary education for all. This outstanding headmistress, who campaigned for comprehensive education throughout her life by writing, speaking, debating and appearing on television, studied sociology then history at Bedford College. She became President of Bedford’s Student Union, showing her natural leadership qualities.

Miles was known for her courage, humour, pragmatism and common sense.



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