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Buss, Frances Mary

Buss, Frances Mary (1827–94). A pioneer of higher education for women, Frances Buss started teaching at 14. She entered Queen's College, London, in 1849 and went on to found the North London Collegiate School for Girls the following year. Starting with 35 pupils, a year later it had 135 and a long waiting list. Buss was a fervent supporter of women's suffrage and campaigned to have university examinations opened to girls, giving much help to Emily Davies in founding Girton College, Cambridge. Convinced of girls' intellectual equality with boys, she saw education as a means of providing women with careers and financial independence. In 1871 she added the Camden Lower School to the Collegiate. She was closely involved in establishing St Hilda's Hall, Oxford, as well as lobbying the Schools Commission to regard education for women as part of its remit. A contemporary jingle, attacking Buss and her fellow-campaigner Dorothea Beale, hints at sternness of purpose:Miss Buss and Miss Beale
Cupid's darts do not feel.
How different from us
Miss Beale and Miss Buss.

Peter Gordon; and Ms Sue Minna Cannon

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