I began Chapter 4 with a focus on the ways in which girls claimed authority in speaking as achieving girls, and the ways in which they used this to pronounce upon aspects of the discourse itself, on its tropes and exclusions, with varying degrees of awareness. In this chapter, I explore the most pervasive and widely endorsed narrative to emerge from all sites of investigation – one that I have called ‘girls work hard’. This narrative can be seen as a contemporary rendering of the historical discourses of diligence as feminised and subordinate in a gendered hierarchised binary explored in Chapter 1. Its continued circulation has been noted with concern; for example, Walkerdine (1989, 4) finds that in teachers’ views of achieving children, ‘girls were felt to lack something, even if they were successful’, while ‘boys were felt to possess the very thing that girls were taken to lack’, while Jackson and Nyström (2015) note that girls are unlikely to be celebrated for effortless achievement in the ways that some boys can be. In its insistence on success being produced via the efforts of the individual, it is readily accommodated by neoliberal discourses of self-regulation and educational discourses of meritocracy, without presenting a challenge to patriarchal structures, and is taken up within ‘equal but different’ post-feminist discourses of gendered complementarity.