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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Hi
(Not sure if this is the correct forum, but mods please move if it isn't. )

Background:

My DD is currently at a lovely all girls indie school. We are looking at schools for DS - starting Yr 7 Sept 2010.

We have been told that DD's school is going co-ed from 2010, and are interested in looking at it for DS. Has anyone been in this situation?
What are the pros and cons of a boy going into a school that has benn predominantly girls? Any advice would be gratefully taken on board.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Only have experience the other way around but I would want to be very clear that they have good facilities in place for the boys & that teachers have experience of dealing with them - very different species to girls :)
Generalisation! - would say it takes a few years for the school to properly adjust to co-ed.
Other issue - how many boys will there be? Could be few years before numbers in each year pick up which could mean a small pool from which to choose friends and restrictions on sport options.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:03 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
Opinion only - not any experience...

I would IMAGINE that introducing boys to the school is less beneficial to the girls than if girls were introduced into a boys school. I am thinking of behaviour and application in lesson time.

Apologies if I have offended anyone but it is my opinion and based a little bit upon boys in a PRIMARY school also.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Hi I am speaking with some experience of the other way around but hopefully can provide some useful input.

Unless schools merge then co-ed will always take time to work through. However the reason that it usually succeeds with boys' schools is that they, as a generalisation, have the better more extensive facilities as well as the history, compared with the girls' equivalent. Has this girls' school got some appeal that will, over time, pull boys in?

There is an element of self-selection in the first girls to join a boys school. In other words they are the ones who relish the opportunity to play sport maybe twice as often as would otherwise be the case, want to join CCF etc. I would suggest that there would also be self-selection in the case of boys joining an all-girls school.

Realistically academically an all-girls school is likely to have a number of curriculum gaps as far as boys are concerned. At my DD recently co-ed school there is no theatre studies (regarded as Mickey Mouse), textiles (not sure what that is myself but sounds MM) or DS aka cookery but on the other hand she is now a dab hand with the soldering iron!

In my opinion girls' schools and girls' school teachers tend to be more Talibanesque in their attitude to single sex teaching. I would surmise that the culture shock may be greater than a boys' school going co-ed.

Having said all taht I have no regrets that we chose co-ed over all girls.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:54 am 
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Location: S East
Schools going co-ed/ mixed is usually for financial reasons.

Single-sex girls schools converting is more unusual, for the cultural reasons oulined by Guest 43, and also because the academic case for single sex girls schools is more compelling. Adding boys will probably dilute results.

The initial boys will largely be siblings I would guess. If your DS is sporty, he will always make the team but he may need to learn losing with good grace :( :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:30 am 
You are in a fortunate position of knowing, and I assume liking the school but the same school is not always right for a second sibling even without these huge changes so make sure it is right first.

I agree that the initial intake will mainly be from siblings but I think a girls school going co-ed can be very turbulent and there is the possibility that it could be it's downfall. Parents are very precious about their sons and would never want them to be in the gender minority and if a school only has a smattering of one gender throughout the year groups then many parents of girls might opt for another girls school or a fully co-ed school. This does not seem to be an issue with boys schools converting to co-ed because they are generally more prestigious and the pros outweigh the cons in many parents views. I would also be surprised if a boy wanted to go to a school where his gender was in the minority too.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:53 pm 
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I would be interested if anyone has some examples of girls schools going co-ed (not as merger with boys school)?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:42 pm 
The Priory school in Birmingham has recently gone co-ed from being co-ed in primary school, then all girls for secondary. Perhaps if you post it on Birmingham site, you may hit upon somebody with direct experience of this.

All I have heard is that there was just a smattering of boys in the first year of being co-ed, despite offering of sports scholarship. That said, it is not the most prestigious independent in Birmingham.

My experience is that teachers tend to choose which set-up they prefer and, therefore, many of the teachers will have chosen to teach at a girls' school precisely because it was all girls---which means some will vote with their feet, if they can.

I certainly felt at my eldest's school (she was the second cohort to admit girls to an all boys) that many of the older teachers would have preferred it to remain all boys and didn't do much to make the girls welcome.

Unless you prefer it to your alternatives, I would probably look elsewhere rather than choose it because your daughter is already there because, frankly, you won't be choosing the school that exists but quite a different one yet to evolve.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Location: S East
Howell's School in Cardiff in 2005. Some bedding down may now have taken place (no joke intended :oops: ), so perhaps you can look into that.

Another> Clifton High School in Bristol has taken boys in Prep and 6th form and recently added them from 13 also. Only 6 in 6th form so not a great advertisement for concept.

I agree with TIPSY that DS may not be keen, and with FM that you will be part of an experiment for a future school, and should look elsewhere if possible.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Really appreciate your replies - they are certainly confirming my thoughts. However, I am going into this with a fairly open mind. I have also been thinking about leadership opportunities for him - at least the teachers would really get to know him! The deputy head at DD's school has worked at all boys schools before, and been involved in sports, so I have a feeling that they have an idea of what is to come.

DS is set on an all boys school in the area - gorgeous school, excellent sports etc, but enormous pressure exam to get in. Let's see what happens....


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