Single-sex and co-ed both good

28th May 2004 at 01:00
May I correct your article on single-sex and co-educational schooling (TES, May 14)? The Woodard Schools are a group which contain both single-sex and co-educational schools.

Readers of the article might have drawn the incorrect conclusion that I regard co-education as preferable. I do not; girls do not automatically do better either in girls' schools or when working together with boys. There are strengths in both forms, and the important thing is to select the type of school that suits one's own child. That is why the Woodard Schools believe in the variety of education that they offer: co-educational and single-sex, junior and senior, boarding and day, and - possibly uniquely - maintained and independent. What unites us is our commitment to our Christian ethos, high academic standards and the excellent level of pastoral care that all our schools offer. The Woodard girls' schools have no need to "fight a rearguard action to keep their pupils"; their own high qualities achieve that. Neither I nor Woodard in general would wish to be seen as taking sides in the foolish debate over whether one form of education is better than the other.

David Exham General secretary of the Woodard Schools Mill Street Witney, Oxfordshire.

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