Single-Gendered and Co-Ed Schools

Many schools in the UK follow a different system to the ones in Japan and the US. In Japan, there is elementary school, junior high school, and high school. In England, there is ‘primary school’, ‘secondary school’, and then an option of ‘college’ or ‘sixth form’, otherwise known as ‘further education’. High school (in Japan and the US) and college/ sixth form (the UK) are what precede going to university.

Most schools in the UK are co-educational. A co-educational school is a school that has both male pupils and female pupils, but there are a number of schools that are exclusively for male students, and ones that are exclusively for female students.

In my personal experience, I have been to schools that were both co-educational and single-gendered schools. My primary school was a co-ed school, and my secondary school was a single-gendered school.

There are various arguments that you can make about which type of school is better. Personally, I would say that co-educational schools are overall better for students, rather than single-gendered schools.

I believe that it’s important for school to provide an environment that is not too detached from what the outside world is like. What I mean by this is that if for example female students are in an environment where the only males are teachers, it’s not particularly representative of what society is like. The population is roughly half male and half female. It’s important for students to learn how to interact and communicate with people of both genders in a natural, realistic way.

One could say that co-ed schools are more distracting for students compared to single-gendered schools. I think this probably has some truth to it, especially for teenage students. At that age it’s common for boys and girls to be thinking about the opposite sex, which could potentially distract students from their studies. However, as I mentioned previously, I think that providing a relatively realistic environment is important for schools. Interest in and interactions with the opposite sex are a big and very natural ‘distraction’ for people after school as well, so exposing students to that will likely help them deal with it in their life after they finish school. Besides, if students aren’t being distracted by people of the opposite sex, then they’re probably being distracted by other things instead, so separating students might not make that much of a difference anyway.

One thing that I’m personally not sure about is whether or not having an all-boys or all-girls environment would create a more peaceful or more tolerable atmosphere for the students, compared to the atmosphere of co-ed schools. There are complicated issues like bullying that could be affected by whether or not a school is single-gendered. Would boys try harder to display dominance in order to impress the girls at a co-ed school? Or could it be said that having girls around might cause the boys to behave better? These are just some examples of how the environment can be affected by co-ed schools.

Overall, it’s hard to say which is better, because every school and every student is different. Everyone has a different experience at school, so there’s a lot that can be said about which type of school is better. For me, I really think that co-ed schools better prepare students for life after school.



precede (v) – to come before something else
argument (n) – something one says to support their point
detached (adj.) – separate from another thing
tolerable (adj.) – something one can stand or put up with