I have spent the majority of my education in various co-ed schools, however, when I made the leap into secondary school, like many others, I was forced to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both single sex and mixed schools.

Some people argue that single sex schools allow children to flourish more because the teaching style can be tailored to suit different gender’s learning needs. For example, research shows that girls prefer collaborative and discussion-based tasks, whilst boys enjoy more direction and guidance from the teacher. Moreover, many people are convinced that in single sex schools, students are free to embrace any subjects as there are no male or female dominated lessons. Indeed, BBC active states that at 26 Girl Day School Trusts and Academies, girls are more than twice likely to opt for science or engineering degrees at university level, than girls nationally.

Others argue that single sex schools increase gender segregation and stereotypes, which is not in keeping with the modern society values which we promote in today’s world where we try to provide men and women with equal opportunities in all professions. As well as this it is extremely important that children have the opportunity to hear both male and female opinions on texts such as poems and novels. This will enable them to be more tolerant and respectful to different views. Additionally, people believe that mixed education is far better because it prepares you for later life. As an employable adult, it is vital that you are able to easily interact with both genders on a daily basis, and co-educational schools kindle these fundamental skills from an early age. Furthermore, exposing children to a situation similar to real life, in which people of the opposite gender will be present, mixed schools help to teach the whole child. A school’s duty involves so much more than merely churning out excellent grades like an exam factory. A balanced education will inevitably lead to a well-rounded, socially sophisticated individual who will be equipped for the harsh realities of the working world.

Rachael Owens, the current Headmistress at St Georges College Weybridge has had experience both being educated at and working in numerous single sex and mixed schools. She strongly believes that gender rarely affects a school’s performance and it is vital to treat children as individuals, rather than generalise them into groups of boys and girls, as this can result in sexism and stereotypical behaviour. She told me “the most important thing about educating girls and boys is not that they are a girl or boy, but that you are educating individuals, irrespective of gender”.

Overall, in my opinion, it is more important to consider other factors like the leadership and teaching, when moving schools. It is mainly down to personal preference since a child’s favoured style of learning is not dictated necessarily by their gender and in my personal experience there are advantages as well as disadvantages to both systems.