Recent months have shone a harsh spotlight on how we live and encourage the principles and values we proclaim. Downe House aspires to be a special place where girls, in an intellectually stimulating and emotionally-caring environment, develop and grow into confident, thoughtful young women, eager to fulfil their hopes and ambitions.
For some of our past pupils, this was not their experience. When it comes to racism and prejudice, there are no ifs and buts. It is wrong and we apologise for the hurt some of you suffered. We are grateful to those old girls who have had the courage to share their pain and reflections with us.
While Downe House today is a very different school from what it was 10 to 15 years ago, the past few months have made us look back, and confront some difficult truths about how much remains to be done. We now look forward with renewed determination to live up to our ideals, so that each and every one of our girls leaves Downe House with the knowledge, awareness and experience to help make the world a better place.
Mrs Emma McKendrick