I went to an all-girls high school in Birmingham. At the time, it had a fetching bottle green uniform. It was gross. Now, apparently, it is purple. I’m not sure that’s much better, to be honest.
Now, obviously, I went to high school a long time ago, leaving there in 2002. But even back then, there were many stereotypes about people who went to single-sex schools, and most of them were complete and utter rubbish. Not only did I go to an all-girls school, but my brothers went to an all-boys school, as did my husband.
Did I love my school days? They were ok. I hated PE and maths but loved English and history. I think I would have been the same had I gone. to a mixed school. In fact, I probably would have hated PE even more.
Harrison now goes to high school, and it’s a traditional mixed school. It seems quite alien to his dad and me when he talks about the girls he hangs out with! I know some friends back in Birmingham have sent their children to the single-sex school we went to, and sadly, many of the myths and stereotypes are still there. Surely in 2023, we should be moving away from these?
All-girls schools are filled with mean girls and cliques.
Were there mean girls and cliques in my old single-sex school? Of course there was – we are talking about groups of teenagers. Is that something that only happens in single-sex schools? Absolutely not. I know there are cliques and groups in Harrison’s school, and if anything it seems worse. Let’s face it, when hormones are flying about, lots of teenagers are going to want to show off in front of the opposite sex. If anything, I think that mean girls and cliques are less of an issue in a single-sex school because the distraction of the opposite sex is removed!
All-girls schools are too sheltered and don’t prepare students for the “real world.
Again, definitely not something I have ever experienced. I think I’ve managed pretty well! I didn’t find it awkward to speak or hang out with boys, and I can hand-on heart say going to an all-girls school has never held me back.
All-girls schools are too strict and don’t allow for any fun.
I went to school in the days before proms and things became a big thing, but we had discos every term with the local boy’s school (which, ironically, my husband went to at the same time but we never spoke. I snogged one of his mates at the disco though!). We definitely did have fun as well in school, with plenty of social activities and clubs.
If there were the option of sending my kids to a single-sex school now, I would definitely consider it. I know my own education and that of my brothers and my husband was certainly not affected in any way by going to all-girls or all-boys schools, and we have all come out of the other end as pretty normal, successful adults! I think all-girls schools allow girls to grow, learn and thrive in a positive and supportive environment. When it comes to that time of year to apply for high school places (and we will be doing it with Alex in September!), look for secondary schools leicester and don’t discount single-sex schools based on outdated myths and stereotypes!