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Stamford Endowed School's move to mixed-sex classes is a good one, says letter writer from Oakham

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Letter of the week

Having read your leading article, I just wanted to say as a current parent of 2 sons at Stamford School and an alumni of both Stamford Junior School and Stamford High School, I am over the moon that the governors and principal have made the bold decision to move to be fully co educational by September 2023.

I also have a daughter who I decided not to send to Stamford High School but to another local independent co-educational school where I worked as I believed she would not flourish in an all girls environment having two brothers and a plethora of male friends at primary school.

John Elson's cartoon is sponsored by The Assist Group
John Elson's cartoon is sponsored by The Assist Group

John Elson's cartoon is sponsored by The Assist Group

As a member of staff at a co educational school, I have witnessed first hand the collaboration and friendships that are made as young children, where gender is immaterial and almost invisible, and seen first hand how these pupils mature and flourish as they become respectful young men and women.

I have seen girls valued for more than their physical looks, but for their academia, wit, determination and drive in the classroom, during joint outdoor activities and sporting events. I have seen boys recognised for their artistic talents, emotional intelligence and kindness, as teenagers navigate their feelings and adolescence as one cohort, much as a family does. Learning and living together pulls down the smoke screen and mystery of the opposite sex, particularly in a digital era where online chats are often miscontrued and can be more easily resolved face to face. The rollarcoaster dramas of female friendships are more often diluted with boys present who will help look for resolution and avoid conflict.

Coeducation blows away any pre conceived ideas of STEM subjects being male oriented or the performing arts being more female dominated. If we strive for an equal society, it needs to be reflected in all our educational settings so that Gen Z see a working model in practice.

Being a coeducational setting doesn’t necessarily alleviate or avoid the same problems our children will encounter in a single sex setting, such as anorexia, self harm, friendship issues or bullying, but it does allow excellent experienced pastoral support to help pupils find their way in a safe environment that is replicated in the outside world on leaving school.

Coeducational teaches all pupils the importance of compassion, nojudgmentalal behaviour and showcases equality for all genders.

Well done Stamford Endowed Schools on this pivotal moment in your school’s long established history!

Antonia Scott


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