We put your question on single-sex schooling to Mark Beach, headmaster at Parkside School
Having been a headmaster at both co-ed and single sex schools, I have seen the benefits of an all-boys education at first hand. I believe this environment brings out the boys’ spirit and their sparky character. Often they express themselves with more freedom. Boys and girls have different developmental stages, which is addressed in a single sex setting where either gender can develop freely, at their own pace and thus not be compared to the other sex. There is a misconception that boys’ schools are more macho than co-ed ones but often the opposite is the case. A girl of 11 or 12 is so much more mature, intellectually and emotionally, than a boy of the same age that many boys are tempted to stop competing and act foolishly rather than concentrate on their studies. Boys often feel inhibited in co-ed settings to follow interests or participate in activities that are not seen as typically male, such as drama and dance. As a school it makes life easier for teachers to tailor the education and curriculum to a single-sex environment when all pupils have similar interests in and outside the classroom.