It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Dr Elaine Kaye on Tuesday 20th October 2015. Dr Kaye was born in 1930 and was Headmistress of Oxford High School from 1973 until 1982. Dr Kaye has left Oxford High a generous legacy to be put into our Bursary Fund to ensure that future generations of girls can benefit from an OHS education. We are extremely grateful to Dr Kaye for this legacy gift.
During her time at OHS, the school celebrated its Centenary year and the opening of new buildings including a Music, Art and Needlework block. The school moved from offering boarding to becoming a day school for girls and, as it does today, hosted many notable speakers including W.H.Auden, Iris Murdoch and Imogen Holst. Her leadership in school was at a time of much significance in the UK including the election of Britain’s first woman Prime Minister and the Royal Jubilee. Many of the Oxford and Cambridge male colleges were beginning to admit women and the GDST (or Girls’ Public Day School Company as it was) founded their first Bursary Fund to enable free or subsidised places to continue to be available to promising pupils.
Dr Kaye continued to live in Oxford, after retiring from OHS and was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany at Mansfield College in Oxford, the highest honour the German Government can bestow. With the Rev Geoffrey Beck, Elaine Kaye founded the Adam von Trott Memorial Appeal Project which funds a scholarship for a German student to come to Mansfield College every two years to study for a Masters’ degree in politics. Adam von Trott was one of the leaders of the plot to assassinate Hitler and was arrested and hanged for treason in 1944. He had been a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, studying at Mansfield College in 1929 and Balliol College in 1931-33.