Notting Hill & Ealing High School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Notting Hill & Ealing High School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Notting Hill & Ealing High School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Headteacher MatthewShoults
Ambitious, happy girls
Notting Hill and Ealing High School, which has 900 students
aged four to 18, has a long history – starting in 1873 – of
providing an academically ambitious education for girls.
It was one of the first schools of the Girls’ Day School Trust, a
leading network of independent girls’ schools, and combines
academic rigour with renowned pastoral support. One of their
central aims has always been to give girls the same opportunities
as their male counterparts, in terms of both scholarly teaching
and preparation for the world beyond school. Headteacher
Matthew Shoults tells
The Parliamentary Review
Partnering in and beyond the UK
We want the girls to have an outward-facing perspective. For this reason,
volunteering opportunities are an essential part of our offering, and opportunities
grow by the year, with a particular emphasis on student-led initiatives. We have
formed links with several neighbouring primary schools, with our older students
visiting to help out in a number of ways. Sixth-form Latin students visit North
Ealing Primary School to deliver a classics club, while a large group of girls helps
with reading practice at Drayton Green Primary School. Over the course of the
summer term, girls and boys from five neighbouring primaries visit the school for
workshops in maths and science as well as for a netball tournament, all largely led
by the students. Students also get involved in the community elsewhere, planning
a Mencap fun-day visit for those with learning difficulties, and joining up with the
local council to campaign for environmental sustainability.
»Headteacher: MatthewShoults
»Founded in 1873
»Located in Ealing
»Type of school: Selective
»No. of students: 912
»ISI: Excellent (highest rating) in
all categories
Notting Hill and
Ealing High School
Highlighting best practice
Attempts to make students think
outwardly extend further. After
securing an Erasmus grant, we
teamed up with schools in France,
Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria
to develop a project exploring
perceptions of gender and learning
in different countries. Around 50
students from across the five schools
have met up in the UK, France and
Germany to exchange experiences,
produce a newspaper and make
presentations. We have a link with
Beijing School No 80, with annual
exchange visits and plans to stay in
contact through Skype sessions and
shared journals. At a time of increased
nationalism and international
tension, it is essential through
such links to broaden minds and
Leading and speaking out
The school has placed a strong
emphasis on getting girls to speak out
and on leadership. We believe that
every girl can find her voice and that
it does not only have to be extroverts
who have the ability to stand up
and present their views and ideas.
Similarly, all girls should leave the
school knowing how to make things
happen and having had experience of
For the last two years, I have taught all
of year 7 public speaking in their first
two terms. All girls have to give a talk
on an inspiring figure and engage in
debates, speaking from bullet points
rather than full scripts. Debating is
becoming firmly embedded across
the school, with weekly staff–student
debates. I believe that at a time of
“safe spaces”, no platforming and
social media echo chambers, it is vital
that the girls should listen to, inhabit
and represent views they might find
uncomfortable and see their teachers
doing the same.
In order that every girl learns
leadership, all girls in the sixth form
are encouraged to take on roles as
subject representatives and to take
the initiative in these roles. Every
fortnight, older girls have a choice of
lectures, organised by representatives
who have to source, welcome and
host their visitors, including learning
the subtle art of small talk. Both these
sixth-form students and younger girls
are encouraged to come up with their
own projects, which staff will help
them see through to completion.
Teachers model
excellence Girls inspired by debate
At a time of
tension, it is
through such
links to
broaden minds
and increase
In the last year, girls across years 7
to 13 have hosted a Model United
Nations conference; put together
concerts, swimathons and numerous
events for charity; organised a medical
conference for neighbouring schools;
and introduced film festivals and
fashion shows. There is no better
way to equip our students for the
future than by having them learning
“on the job” how to bring a project
The creative arts and jobs of
the future
The school has maintained a balanced
curriculum at a time when the creative
arts are being worryingly squeezed.
All girls are able to choose four GCSEs
freely, alongside the core of English,
maths and science, albeit with the
inclusion of one modern language
and one humanities subject. This
ensures that art, music and drama
are still popular choices. Rigorous
GCSEs are to be welcomed, and the
importance of STEM subjects is not
to be underestimated (the significant
majority of our students take three
sciences to GCSE), but it is also
important to recognise the breadth
of the UK (and the global) economy.
It is notable that China is investing
heavily in creativity, and as a school
we will continue to value the creative
arts, both in the curriculum and in
opportunities across the school.
While artificial intelligence is already
a vital and fast-developing fact of
life, the narrative of “preparing
students for jobs which don’t exist”
and the insistence that coding will be
something everybody will need to do is
short-sighted. As artificial intelligence
becomes more sophisticated,
much programming will be done
automatically, and there will be an
increased emphasis on choosing how
to apply such technology, as well
as providing advice on it. As such,
creativity and the humanities must
remain a key part of the curriculum
– creativity and human skills will be
the least easy skills to automate and
thus the abilities we must nurture.
The spectre of a jobless future is
also overstated: in the 19th century,
automation of manufacturing led to
similar fears – back then, the jobs
people did changed but did not
necessarily disappear. It is therefore
important to be optimistic, while
preparing our students with the ability
to lead, speak confidently and be
technically adept while also creative.
The school has
maintained a
curriculum at a
time when the
creative arts are
being worryingly
Inspiring independent
thought in the 6th form
‘Sport for All’ our Sport

This article was sponsored by Notting Hill & Ealing High School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development