28th June 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
Westonbirt Senior School has announced that it will be accepting day boys into Year 7 for the first time from September 2019.
Westonbirt School has been a single sex environment for the last 90 years, recently celebrating this milestone birthday. However, in step with a significant shift in attitudes around gender in the wider world, and following extensive research and consultation, the school has decided that educationally, it is the right time to step up and be part of the gender-equality movement.
Enabling both girls and boys to develop, succeed and assert themselves with confidence and mutual respect is an exciting challenge which Head Natasha Dangerfield and the leadership team are ready to meet. The vision for Westonbirt co-education, built on a foundation of parity between the sexes, outstanding learning and a progressive approach to senior education, aims to be quite different from co-education created by admitting girls to a boys’ school.
Opening up the senior school to boys is a natural evolution for Westonbirt’s successful co-educational prep school.
Sam Antrobus, Executive Chairman of Wishford Schools said: This is a fantastic opportunity to redefine what co-education in a senior school should look like. The investment programme planned will support the very best possible learning experiences for both girls and boys and we are delighted to work together to offer local parents greater choice.
'Happy pupils perform better in school and in life'
It's time for a shift in priorities: one of the aims of education must be to ensure pupils flourish, says Mike Buchanan, the head of Ashford School in Kent and is the HMC executive director designate.
Policymakers and politicians, take note: striving to address the long tail of underachievement amongst young people in England by focusing primarily on academic attainment risks missing out on pulling a key lever of change.
Fact: positive education and wellbeing support learning. They ought to sit alongside maximising pupils’ achievements as strategic aims in our schools and the education systems in the UK. Not to have wellbeing as an explicit metric alongside others is to ignore the already decades-strong and growing body of evidence from around the world. Given this, it is remarkable that there is no such metric for schools in the UK.
A modest investment in developing a culture of positive education and wellbeing in our schools may go some way towards this highly aspirational goal as a nation. For the cynics amongst you – yes, you – who might be tempted to think that such a dream is unrealisable, you might be interested to know that schools, systems and countries around the world already do it and are talking about it.
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