Private school slammed over bus ad showing boys as aspiring lawyers but girls becoming vocalists

Avatar photo

By Polly Botsford on

£34,000-a-year school says aspirations are ‘personal’ to the students

Image credit: Twitter (@Argus_JoelA)

Co-ed private boarding school, Ardingly College in Sussex, has been defending itself against claims of sexism and gender stereotyping following an advertisement showing a male pupil with aspirations to be a lawyer, politician or swimmer alongside a female pupil whose aspirations are to be an actor, vocalist or writer.

The ad, which is part of a series for the Harry Potter-esque establishment, has appeared on buses in the local area recently.

Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton & Hove bus operator, the bus company where the ads have appeared, told the media that he was “mortified” and would be pulling the ads from its buses.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

Reactions on social media have also been strong with one tweet calling it: “entry level sexism”:

A local reporter was equally outraged:

A female local Labour councillor, who studied law, also had something to say on the subject:

Ardingly’s head teacher, Ben Figgis, has had to defend the ads and the school explaining that it was a misunderstanding; the labels were “the personal ambitions” of the students who featured in the billboards: “As a school we have not put words into their mouths, nor would we want to.”

This mishap is unfortunate, particularly given that in the posh mag Tatler‘s review of the school (featured on the school’s website), Figgis is quoted as saying:

“Leave your stereotypes at the door… Girls play football and take A-level physics; boys give talks at the feminist society and do jazzercise. Modern co-education at its best.”

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter

Related Stories

Lady Hale acknowledges ‘Beyoncé of the legal profession’ comparison

Exclusive: 'It was on Legal Cheek, wasn’t it?'

Oct 25 2017 1:12pm

Meet the Miss Cambridge beauty queen forging a career in legal academia

PhD student sheds light on why there are so many law students competing in pageants

Oct 28 2016 9:04am