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The Making of Us


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About the Author

Clarissa Farr is an experienced leader in education, a non-executive director and a writer. She was High Mistress of St Paul's Girls' School in west London, one of the UK's leading secondary schools, for eleven years from 2006-2017 and was previously Principal of Queenswood School. Currently a Director of Education for Inspired, an international schools group with over 40 schools on four continents, Clarissa is also a Fellow of Winchester College and a Governor of The Royal Ballet School. She as a founding member of the board of the African Gifted Foundation which has a new school in Accra for talented young African women in the sciences. She recently joined the global advisory board of a newly launched US company, Whittle School and Studios. She has been a Trustee of the British Museum since 2016 and now chairs the Friends' Advisory Council, which represents the Museum's 75000 members.


‘In 2017, after more than 10 years at St Paul’s Farr decided to leave. This elegantly written book shares the wisdom she deployed there and the lessons she learnt’ Sunday Times ‘[Farr] has certainly shown her talent here as the teller of a good story … part memoir, part love letter to the mad, wonderful world of schools and school leadership, Farr brings to life her own experiences and interweaves them with wider reflections upon education in the UK today… a warm and witty book.’ Times Educational Supplement ‘An urgent call to improve the way we help young women prepare for this complex world written by someone with oodles of experience and a load of passion for good education’ George Osborne ‘This is a crucial book of the moment: the best informed education insider laying out how schools should work. Farr’s writing is graceful and considered: she's honest about the highs and lows of her own career, as well as unspoken topics such as dealing with over-protective parents. An insightful, useful book: excellent for parents and teaching professionals alike.’ David Bodanis, bestselling author of E=mc2 ‘Clarissa Farr was the doyen of headmistresses in the early 21st century.  Wise, courageous, and compassionate, a true leader from a world where many heads struggle to lead’ Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice Chancellor, University of Buckingham 'In this topical and moving book Clarissa Farr bridges the gap between a traditional education and the 21st century internet revolution. With an astounding lightness of touch that is only available to a true master Clarissa looks at the importance of school, community and education … And somehow manages to guide us towards thinking about helping our girls find an existential resilience. With the onslaught of increased mental illness and a rapidly changing and challenged world they are going to need it' Julie Lynn-Evans, author of What About the Children

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