On Thursday evening CSPS was delighted to welcome Rachel Roberts, Archivist of Cheltenham Ladies College, to speak about former Casterton School headmistress Dorothea Beale.
Over 50 guests, pupils and staff began the evening in the school library where replica 19th century Casterton School uniforms were available to try on and an exhibition about the history of Casterton School was on display. The girls of Beale and Thornfield particularly enjoyed dressing up and were pleased to hear that the replica uniforms will be donated to the houses for use in dressing up.
Later in the Tom Penny theatre Rachel Roberts shared the fascinating life story of Miss Beale. A true pioneer in women's education, Miss Beale arrived at Casterton in 1857 and quickly set about reforming the girls' opportunities at school. Her methods proved too modern for the school committee and the following year she moved on to Cheltenham Ladies College. Dorothea Beale kept in close contact with Casterton throughout her life and established a scholarship scheme for Casterton girls to attend Cheltenham Ladies College. She went on to found St Hilda's College, Oxford and was a key member of a national committee formed to investigate education for girls.