Co-ed classes considered for split high schools
Two Victorian schools are moving to end almost a century of sexual segregation, combining male and female students for some senior subjects.
The boys-only Melbourne High School and the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School will come together for co-ed classes in year 12 from next year. Reports say the classes on offer will be those that separately the schools cannot sustain such as Chinese, drama and theatre studies, and Latin.
The assistant principal of Mac.Robertson Margaret Atkins said the idea is still in its planning phase, with schools currently gauging interest from students before moving ahead: “If we can't offer them within our own schools as a single class because there are not enough students, by combining forces we might be able to offer it... we are keeping the breadth of curriculum choice open to students,” she said.
The somewhat exclusive institutions were initially opened as the Melbourne Continuation School in 1905 and ran with mixed classes for the first twenty two years with few major incidents.
The principal of what is now Melbourne High says the 1927 move to segregate the sexes is still valid: “The educational research would indicate there are good reasons for maintaining single-sex education up until about the age of 16, both social and academic,” Mr Jeremy Ludowyke said, “but beyond that the evidence is a little bit more ambiguous.”