Is there still a place for single-sex schools?
For some, single-sex schools are centres of excellence. For others, they entrench sexual stereotypes and gender inequality. Sifting through centuries of debate, girls’ school deputy head David James ponders the future of this approach in a society that is increasingly progressive, meritocratic and diverse
Winchester College’s recent decision to admit girls into its sixth form from 2022 came after 122 years of discussion (which the headteacher, Tim Hands, drily described as “speedy for us” ).
It made headlines around the world but also raised some questions. Most obviously: what does it say about us that, even during a pandemic, an event as seemingly unimportant as a change in the internal admissions policy of a school that charges tens of thousands of pounds a year can result in acrimonious online debate, and generate news stories in tabloids and broadsheets alike?
No doubt the familiar ...