The name of our Trust is inspired by the story of Dr Ivy Williams. Born in Teignbridge (Newton Abbot), in 1877, she managed what we would wish for all the children and young people of Teignbridge and surrounding area that we serve in our schools…she fulfilled her childhood dreams and ambitions. Despite those ambitions at the time seeming highly unlikely – she dared to dream, she set her sights high, she proved her doubters wrong…
On 10 May 1922 Dr Ivy Williams became the first woman to be called to the Bar (formally recognised as a qualified Barrister of Law) of England and Wales. This was despite having passed many of her qualifications in Law as early as 1903. The law and regulations at the time prevented females from formally qualifying and practising law. Changes to these laws and regulations in 1919 and 1920 saw her make her breakthrough a few years later.
Ivy Williams’ Call to the Bar had been the fulfilment of a childhood dream: both her father and her brother were lawyers; her father a solicitor and her brother a barrister. She gained qualifications from both Oxford University and the University of London. Despite her momentous and history-making call to the Bar, she decided not to practice as a Barrister. Instead, returning to Oxford University as the first ever woman in the UK to be appointed to teach law to others.
The story of Dr Ivy Williams reminds us of the famous quote from Michaelangelo:
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
The Ivy Education Trust supports and challenges all members of our learning community to dream big, aim high, and achieve more than they ever thought was possible.