Freedom of Expression

The Head's Study

Having revelled in the creativity and diversity of freedom of expression in the dance show, it followed naturally talking this week about Article 10 of the Human Rights Act regarding freedom of expression. We see examples of freedom of expression in the news daily now with protestors in Russia standing up against the invasion of Ukraine. We follow this aspect of the news helplessly yet secure in the knowledge that the £5747.82 raised by the Prep and Senior school and matched by the Government, together with all the items donated by our community, will be making a difference.

Closer to home, however, I reminded the girls of their duties and responsibilities associated with freedom of expression particularly when viewed through the prism of encouraging them to be fearless – the Royal High value that runs through this term. In particular, I encouraged everyone to get involved in the School’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) group – Undivided. The recent GDST survey completed at our family of schools asked girls for their opinions on how well they feel they and their peers belong at their GDST school and how inclusive the environment feels. It can be scary to talk about EDI; we fear upsetting others by inadvertently saying the wrong thing or speaking out of turn but we must celebrate the freedom of expression we have in our democratic society reassured that at Royal High School Bath we respond with compassion and understanding to others’ opinions and feelings. By learning to speak up now, in a safe school environment, girls will be empowered to continue to have their voice heard in more challenging circumstances beyond the school gates.

The dance show proved how brave and creative RHSB students are. I hope they will use their voices to be equally brave in their discussions.