Wimbledon boys' school considers admitting girls

Sir Trevor makes the cases for admitting girls at King's College School

Julie Etchingham talks with school captain James Ma

First published in News

A Wimbledon boys’ school hopes to end 180 years of single sex education and admit girls to its sixth form.

The plan was announced during a visit to King’s College School by News at Ten presenter Sir Trevor MacDonald, a current King’s governor, and his co-host Julie Etchingham.

Governors will now consult with parents and make a final decision at the end of this month.

The first intake of girls would start at the Southside school in 2010.

After the announcement on September 2, Mrs Etchingham spoke to 13 and 14-year-old pupils about the challenges of succeeding in the traditionally male dominated world of journalism.

Sir Trevor later said: “The governors were unanimous that this is the right step for King’s. Speaking personally, I think it will be marvellous for all the boys and girls lucky enough to study at King’s from 2010.”

Headmaster Andrew Halls said: “King’s is a great boys’ school – and it will be an even more remarkable school if we admit girls after GCSE.”

“Up to 16, I think there is an enormous amount to be said for single sex education; after 16, it is much harder to make the case. There are incredible advantages to both boys and girls in enabling them to be taught side by side in the run-up to their university years.”

Mr Halls added that he expected girls to be drawn to study at the sixth form, which currently has around 300 pupils, because it offered the International Baccalaureate rather than A-levels.

He said that if the plan was approved he expected around 20 and 30 girls to join the school in 2010.

Former pupil Jamie Henderson said: “I will be every surprised if this move actually comes to fruition.

“When I was a student at King’s senior school they flirted with the idea on several occasions but there was always a stumbling block. I wouldn’t send my daughter to a school where boys outnumbered girls by 15 to one.”

King’s, which charges £5,150 a term, has been a single sex school since its creation in 1829.

• For more information on schools in your area click here.

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