St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls'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 St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls 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 Beverley Stanislaus
We are a happy, safe and
caring community where
we live, love and learn
St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls is a Church of
England School steeped in history and tradition. Originally
established in 1699, it is the oldest girls’ school in England
and is linked to the church of the same name in Trafalgar
Square. The school is committed to closing the achievement
gap between advantaged and non-advantaged students and
inspiring students to learn. Headteacher Beverley Stanislaus
The Parliamentary Review
about the school’s remarkable
history and how they have managed to open the opportunity
gaps for their students, creating individuals who are confident,
responsible, spiritual and successful.
Throughout our 320-year history, we have always kept a firm eye on securing
futures for the young women we teach, something we know will continue for
those who come through these historic doors in future years. In 1928, we moved
to our current site in Tulse Hill, which was marked with an opening ceremony
conducted by the Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. We celebrated our 90th
anniversary of this last year, holding our Founders’ Day service in our founding
church, one of the most famous churches in London, in one of the most famous
squares in the world.
With love and learning – Caritate et Disciplina
The church and school are dedicated to St Martin of Tours and his inspiring story,
riding on a horse and cutting his cloak in half to share with a beggar. Encapsulated
by the school logo, Caritate et Disciplina, his message of love, selflessness
»Headteacher: Beverley Stanislaus
»Established in 1699
»Based in Tulse Hill
»Type: All-girls Church of
England secondary school with
a mixed sixth form
»No. of students: 493
St Martin-in-the-Fields
High School for Girls
Highlighting best practice
andserviceremains just as relevant
today. The original philanthropic and
charitable connections remain strong,
something highlighted by Ofsted,
who wrote: “The motto of the school,
Caritate et Disciplina – with Love and
Learning, is driven by all staff in a
common endeavour to improve pupils’
life chances.” As a school, we connect
with charitable activities through
what we express as our St Martin’s
stewardship vision that “Everyone
Can Help Others”. We encourage all
students to engage in social action
and to develop their understanding of
courageous advocacy and leadership.
Our Christian ethos is central to the
school, and we have maintained our
strong, founding Christian values,
focusing on service, compassion,
justice and perseverance. Because
of the importance we place on this
ethos, we constructed a chapel, which
is used as a space for our students
to visit at any time, no matter their
faith. This was highlighted by SIAMS,
who said: “Students, of all faiths and
none, feel welcome and have a sense
of value within the community.” We
have encouraged the girls to make the
chapel their own, and, working with
a specialist glass artist, they designed
and created stained-glass windows,
which were blessed in St Martin-in-
the-Fields church and dedicated by the
bishop in our chapel.
Widening the opportunity gaps
We are committed to providing
stimulating opportunities for our
students, and when I joined as
Headteacher in September 2015, the
time was right for transformation. By
combining modernity with tradition
we looked beyond the curriculum and
student experience in order to initiate
demonstrable change for our students.
We modernised all that we could: the
school uniform and parts of the 18th-
century building including the dining
area, now the Plaza, and a new Chill
Zone to support students’ wellbeing.
In April 2018, we established a
partnership with The Confucius
Institute for Traditional Chinese
Medicine at London South Bank
University and became an official
Mandarin teaching site. Our Key Stage
3 students now learn Mandarin and
we have our first group of students
starting a GCSE in the language this
year. In future, we plan to link with
a school in China and organise a
school visit. Our curriculum has been
broadened, and both psychology and
sociology are taught at Key Stage 4.
This is supported by our comprehensive
and empowering careers programme
called “Steps to Success”. We have
a scholarship programme linked to
music and the STEM subjects and we
are committed to encouraging girls
to study these subjects as widely as
possible. We have also developed
a primary transition programme,
promoting STEM, while our year-
round partnership with primary
schools enables their pupils to take
part in music, drama and Mandarin
workshops on a weekly basis.
Our strong ranking position within
Lambeth local authority in terms
of closing the achievement gap
between disadvantaged and non-
Students are committed
to showing kindness
and respect in all their
The motto of
the school,
Caritate et
Disciplina –
with Love and
Learning, is
driven by all
staff in a
endeavour to
pupils’ life
Ofsted May 2018
disadvantaged students has involved
us taking part in a research project,
operating at both local and national
levels, and which is designed to
showcase our best practice. As one
of our school priorities, and to ensure
we remain exemplary in this field,
our strategies and processes are
interwoven into every department,
and we have a designated Pupil
Premium Champion to lead in this
area. We plan intervention strategies
and our governors take ownership of
reviewing and monitoring, supported
by robust tracking systems and a
rigorous funding plan. Our May 2018
Ofsted praised our strengths in this
area and highlighted that “work
in books shows progress is similar
for both disadvantaged and non-
Adapting for the future
We have a co-educational sixth form,
which works in collaboration with two
other schools in the local authority.
This allows us to be more flexible and
increase the breadth of our provision
as we share subjects and prepare
students for university, apprenticeships,
local and global opportunities. One of
the main strengths of our sixth form
is the exceptional destinations we can
offer our students after they leave
us. Many of them secure places at
Russell Group universities and we have
had students attend Imperial College
London, Queen’s University Belfast and
Warwick, with a number of Oxbridge
candidates too.
We are a school where quality
teaching brings out the best in all our
students to enable them to reach their
full potential. We have a dedicated
and committed staffing body who go
above and beyond to support every
single child, every single day. The
resulting transformation has been
strategic and we were praised in
our two inspections, when we were
judged as an “outstanding” church
school by SIAMS in April 2018 and
as a “good” school by Ofsted in May
2018. Financial constraints impact on
everything we do and we have had
to be creative with very little. We are
in the unique position of being the
only Church of England girls’ school
in Lambeth and we are becoming ever
more popular for families and their
daughters, in the local area and the
wider community. Wehaveeducated
hundreds of thousands of young
women over the centuries and will
continue to do so, as well as boys in
our sixth form.
Students of all
faiths and
none, feel
welcome and
have a sense
of value
within the
SIAMS April 2018
Students are inspired to
learn and are ambitious
for the future

This article was sponsored by St Martin-in-the-Fields High School for Girls. 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