Education Eye: Benefits of mixed sex schools

Catherine Stoker
Catherine Stoker

When talking about co-education, it’s tricky not to just state the blindingly obvious – as part of growing up, youngsters must learn to thrive among colleagues and friends of both sexes.

Education is not just about academics.

As importantly, it is about leaving school with the social skills and emotional intelligence to thrive in any environment.

Here are a few of the real benefits of a co-educational school:

> A combination of the competitive nature of boys to perform as well as those around them and the girls’ often more conscientious attitude to work should be a winning formula for success, in both the classroom and independent study.

> Class discussion brings diversity of opinion and encourages all to develop a rounded view.

> Co-ed schools are all about breaking the mould and inspiring girls to aim for careers as engineers, politicians or to study the Sciences and boys to perhaps consider Music, PR or design.

>Co-curricular programmes offer diversity of choice with girls having equal access to activities which may once have been the preserve of boys such as CCF, cricket, shooting or practical skills such as carpentry, car maintenance or metalwork.

> Particularly with an only child or where parents are separated, mixed friendships or role models are less likely at home, so perhaps more important to experience at school.

> Learning a responsible and trustworthy attitude towards inevitable temptation within co-ed peer relationships and social media banter is an important lesson for life

>School should be about forming solid, supportive friendships for life.

I can’t help wondering if it is a more relevant preparation for 21st century life, for these to be with both boys and girls, giving a balanced perspective.

Maybe girls bring focus, drive and determination for academic success and boys bring more of an easy-going, calm perspective.