Winchester College Considers Admitting Girls

Winchester College, is considering the admission of girls. It is one of four remaining boys-only boarding schools in the United Kingdom. Despite growing pressures against them, single sex schools continue to dominate academic league tables.
Winchester College Considers Admitting Girls
By David Westley
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One of England’s oldest boys’ public schools, 600-year-old Winchester College, is considering the admission of girls.

The £40,000-a-year school said any such decision would be made by the governing body, according to a report in The Times newspaper. It is one of only five remaining boys’ boarding schools.

The other four all boys boarding schools are Sherborne, Eton, Harrow and Radley.

Clarissa Farr, a member of the college’s governing body, said: “The past year has forced all schools to examine the quality, accessibility and relevance of their offer. Any school not engaging in these challenging conversations is not facing the future.”

A member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, the professional association for heads of top independent schools, said this weekend:

“After the criticism of entitled male behaviour during the #MeToo movement and the debates about toxic masculinity, some of the remaining all-boys’, all-boarding schools are thinking hard about whether they should go co-educational. There are only four still remaining — that is not even a rump. No one wants to be the last one standing ... I think that all four will fall.”

Defenders say single-sex schools give boys and girls a chance to grow up free from the distractions of the opposite sex. Girls are more likely to do science A-levels in girls-only schools; boys more likely to take English literature A-level.

Single-sex schools still dominate exam league tables.

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