What does the move to co-education mean for the school?
It means that as of September 2021, Braeside will transition from being an all girls’ independent school to providing education for both girls and boys from Kindergarten through to Year 11. This will be phased in slowly year after year, with the first boys welcomed into Kindergarten and Reception in September 2021. In September 2022 the Reception boys (and girls) will move to Year 1, Kindergarten boys (and girls) to Reception and a new cohort of mixed Kindergarten children recruited. This model will be followed year after year until the school is fully co-educational.
Why has the school decided to make this change?
We believe that a co-educational environment is in the best interests of the children and will benefit their learning and development as we move forward into the 21st Century. The transition will consolidate our strengths as a school for the foreseeable future and will ensure we take the necessary strides towards a modern educational model. It also means that whole families will be able to become a part of the Braeside experience and educational journey.
The world is co-educational, and mixing boys and girls together builds character and education in life. There are also multiple academic benefits to be had for both genders in working together in a unified environment. Since 1990, the number of UK single sex independent Schools has halved with girls’ schools now making up 12%. This reflects the national and international trends that favour co-education.
What parental demands do these changes respond to?
Parental demand for co-educational schools is on the rise due to daily logistics and work commitments affected by the geographical challenge of dropping off and collecting children and siblings from different schools. This in turn, increases traffic congestion in the local area, which exacerbates the issue.
Discussions over recent years have shown that most parents do not prioritise single sex education and many parents have expressed a desire for their daughter to mix with boys throughout their educational journey.
What are the benefits of co-education learning from Kindergarten upwards?
At this young age, socialisation with other children is vital and part of the learning and development curve. It makes sense at this stage for younger children to be educated in a co-educational setting. Parents with children of both genders will also benefit from choosing one School that accommodates both boys and girls.
The working world is co-educational and continues to evolve at great speed. As such, we have seen from the other Oak-Tree Schools that mixing boys and girls together builds life skills as they learn and thrive together as equals.
Will the introduction of boys in school encourage a more boisterous environment?
At Braeside our ethos is all about creating a safe and supportive environment for children. This, coupled with our high standards of behaviour and expectations, means that the strength of our core values will be unaffected by this move to co-education.
What will the girl/boy ratio be over the coming years?
This will be a gradual process and we expect to have around 10% of pupils attending the school as boys by 2022, rising to around 40% by the end of 2030.
How will this affect my daughter?
Introducing boys into the school from 2021 will not directly affect any current girl at Braeside. The only real change is that your daughter will encounter boys in her day-to-day life at school.
Will boys and girls be taught in mixed or separate classes?
As and when boys enter a year group, academic lessons will be conducted on a fully co-educational basis. In addition, our aim is to have as much non-academic and co-curricular activity undertaken on a co-educational basis as possible.
Will the changes affect academic standards at Braeside?
Yes, in a very positive way. Continuing to develop the highest academic standards is, of course, a core priority for Braeside, regardless of the gender of our learners. Our academic ethos, teaching staff, curriculum and small class sizes are the most crucial elements to our academic standards.
Will the changes affect the selection process for school places?
Not at all. All pupils will be selected on their own individual merit and not based on their gender.
Will the changes affect the school’s ethos and values?
Not at all. On the contrary, the change actually reflects Braeside’s long-term historical ethos and values of community, compassion and empathy. It has always been our intention to educate happy, confident pupils who are stimulated and challenged to succeed in an ever-changing world. The move to co-education supports this.
What sports will girls and boys have access to?
We will be introducing a rich and varied co-educational sports curriculum with options available for both girls and boys.
How will the pastoral care support specific beliefs and traditions related to mixing with boys at school?
We already have staff who are pastorally experienced in co-educational settings and who are used to working with a diverse pupil roll. The school will also incorporate special lessons in PSHE and will be investing in further resources to support this.