Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ellington + Hereson =?

It was suggested here many months ago that a schools merger was in the air and now pupils from Ellington girls school and Hereson boys could find themselves together from September 2008.

Parents of children at both schools have received letters telling them of plans to move all pupils to a £9 million site in Pysons Road.

Ellington will move in on April 27. Boys from Hereson will be phased in between 2008 and 2010.

Hereson head teacher Tony Hamson said: "We have to have a consultation with parents first. It is very early. I have only known about the idea since just before Christmas. It is a proposal at the moment."

The move is due to falling school numbers, according to both Mr Hamson and Ellington head Cathy Smith.


Chris Wells said...

The truly interesting thing is where this may take us in terms of Chatham and Clarendon House as well. If this merger is agreed, then their merger must surely follow.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the Gazunder runs this story eight weeks after Thanetlife reported it (your post of 4th Jan 2007)! I was under the impression some while back that Gazunder staff keep an eye on this site, but clearly not. Your local contributors ensure you get news items in first before Times or Gazunder.
As for Chatham and Clarendon your source stated that they will join the Hereson/Ellington cluster on the same site for a 'mega-cluster' of schools by 2010!

Cllr David Green said...

The evidence over many decades is that women do significantly less well economically and professionally than men, if you look at mature outcomes.

But there is one element of background which seems to make a difference, for women and that is the 'space' in the secondary years which single-sex classes offer girls, to learn (some) things independently of boys.

It seems, especially in the more mathematically-related curriculum, that this helps girls; and it probably also helps in terms of self-determination and a conviction that it's OK as an independent person to go ahead and do things with one's life.

Certainly, this was a major indicator, in research undertaken looking at how women scientists hold their own.

Research in both the UK and USA over the last 20 years has indicated that for many girls, a co-ed classroom does not help them to achieve equality, but indeed may depress self-confidence and limit aspirations. Many girls are short-changed by the co-ed classroom.

Boys dominate teacher time. Classroom observations showed that boys answer and ask more questions, hog the teacher's attention and the apparatus, organise themselves more quickly and ruthlessly to their tasks, while girls hang back through shyness or a desire to be helpful and co-operative. Boys are more demanding of teacher's time both behaviourally and academically.

Girls are less likely to take intellectual risks and are more passive.
They fear getting it wrong, looking silly, being considered stupid, being judged by their male peers and found wanting. They prefer to solve problems by team working.

Subject choices are more likely to be polarised.
In co-ed schools both boys and girls are more likely to choose traditional male and female subjects. This limits choice and aspirations for both boys and girls.

Girls tend to lose self-esteem and confidence as they progress through adolescence.
This is made worse if they are constantly being placed under social pressure from boys. A co-ed environment does not always give them the space and security in which to build up their self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities as individuals.

Fewer positive role models for girls.
Co-ed schools do not always provide girls with the necessary positive role models through the teaching staff and the general ethos and philosophy of the school that is so essential for building girls’ self-esteem and confidence. This is particularly the case for schools that have gone co-ed but where girls are in a minority. These are essentially still boys’ schools with all the male traditions and trappings.

Girls mature physically, mentally and emotionally earlier than boys.
Girls and boys mature physically, mentally and emotionally at different ages. In a co-ed environment this is much more difficult to manage. Girls are likely to lose out, as they tend to mature earlier and may well be held back by slower developing boys.
Girls can have fewer opportunities for leadership roles in co-ed schools.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you advertising the case for single sex schools and classes, Cllr Green. It is a pity that this well known research has been completely ignored by your Labour Party in its education policy that sees equality as mixed education!