‘Too much pressure’ on girls to excel

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Pressure to be perfect is putting teenage girls under stress and at risk of developing an eating disorder, an academic said yesterday.

Too many girls, especially those attending fee-paying schools, are leading “overscheduled” lives filled with high expectations, according to Professor Carrie Paechter of Goldsmiths, University of London.

She told the Times Educational Supplement: “There are girls in private schools who are ‘projects’ of their parents, learning two or three instruments to grade eight standard and excelling in sport and academia because they feel that is what is expected of them, and that is what they expect of themselves ... but a few of them end up in anorexia clinics complaining that the schools only cared about their results.

“Good schools need to start saying ‘you can’t do that many A-levels, even if you want to’.”