Single-sex schooling

The Telegraph, 11.01.16, letter from HMC member Samantha Price, headmistress of leading independent Benenden School on single-sex schooling.

SIR – As the headmistress of a girls’ boarding school, I welcome Allison Pearson’s defence of girls’ schools against the claim that they are “outdated”.

Having worked in both co-educational and single-sex schools, I have observed that girls leaving the latter are as well-adjusted around boys as any I have encountered in the former. Girls are certainly not locked away in a single-sex environment but do benefit from having the chance to be themselves during the turbulent teenage years, with only each other and their teachers to impress.

More importantly, staff at girls’ schools are experts in working with girls, inside and outside the classroom, as well as supporting them emotionally. Girls are encouraged to take the lead, whether in sport, on the stage, in music, in the combined cadet force or as prefects – a contributing factor to building confidence and future success in the workplace.

Single-sex schools are dynamic, responsive and relevant to today’s world, and prepare young people to thrive in the 21st century.

Samantha Price
Headmistress, Benenden School
Benenden, Kent