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Girls’ schools are in high demand as the debate over coeducation flares up

“There is the idea that single-sex schools are an anachronism and that their demise is coming. But we refute that,” said Bridge.

Students Alyssa Yee and Sophie Waters at Pymble Ladies’ College with Principal Kate Hadwen.Credit:Jessica Hormas

Martin said one of the reasons boys’ schools are under more pressure to become co-ed is that when “things go wrong in boys’ schools, it’s often visible, such as behavior problems and student behavior. Guys who are co-ed tend to be more prominent in the public debate,” he said.

Monash University professor Helen Forgasz said that while girls’ schools for divorced girls market themselves well to parents, there are many social benefits to coeducation.

“If there’s bullying in girls’ schools, it might not be discussed publicly…and boys’ schools are going to be in the headlines a lot more.”

Late last year, Labor promised families guaranteed access to a coeducational state secondary school if elected.

Hadwen believes that the ongoing debate about segregated versus co-ed schools is “too polarized … I think we could have a more nuanced view.”

“One of the things I feel strongly about is that we can have segregated schools and plenty of opportunities for girls to interact with boys,” she said.

“I firmly believe that parents know their children best and make the best decisions for them.”

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