Parents reject public boys’ high schools

Her son had already started high school when the policy for Georges River changed. But her daughter started year 7 at Peakhurst co-ed campus this year after being given the option to go co-ed.

“I think the Hurstville Boys have to eventually go co-ed. I am surprised they still have public girls ‘and boys’ schools at all. I, personally, do not see the benefit of it. ”

She said she did not look at NAPLAN data when she chose a school but said co-ed schools could offer a better experience.

“If you have a son who is interested in design and wants to do sewing, they might not have that option and girls’ schools do not necessarily have the woodwork option,” she said.

A department spokeswoman said they were “working closely with local school communities to develop options that would provide all students access to a co-education option including in Georges River and the eastern suburbs.”


Deakin University education expert Professor Amanda Keddie said affluent parents had more ability to move to a different zone or send their child to a private school if they wanted to avoid sending them to a boys’ school due to poor academic results.

“Those schools which do not do well on the test, student numbers go down and get less funding, they have less capacity to offer a variety of subjects,” she said.

She said lower academic results among boys was not a new phenomenon, but it could have been magnified in boys’ schools.

“All-boys schools can amplify the more negative aspects of dominant masculine stereotypes that reading and literacy is not for boys,” she said.


Those who have worked in boys’ schools believe boys can be just as interested in reading, could get just as good academic results, but teachers being clear about behavior expectations is central to their success.

Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys Campus, one of the few schools to have above-average NAPLAN results in year 9 reading, spelling, grammar and significantly above-average results in year 9 numeracy in 2021, is over its enrolment cap by 25 per cent. .

Northern Sydney District Council of P&C Associations president David Hope said that was not always the case.

“Balgowlah Boys High nearly closed almost 10 years ago because of the loss of pupils, then it built it up after two successful principals – it is performing well,” he said.

“The key issue is that parents are forced to send their kids to a school which is not performing, the department needs to act to fix that, in some way.”

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