Here come the boys, girls, as school ends 20 years of single sex teaching

AN ALL-GIRLS’ school in Yorkshire has decided to accept boys because of increasing demand from parents to send their children to one place.

Moorfield School, in Ilkley, is to take boys of nursery age from January next year after 20 years of delivering single sex education.

The private school, which takes pupils up to the age of 11, will now become fully co-educational as the year groups progress.

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Head mistress Jessica Crossley said: “We are aware that parents now want a ‘one-stop drop’ and this will stop parents of boys worrying about where they will send them too. In this area we used to have Ghyll Royd School which was a boys’ school which gave parents an option but they became co-educational a few years ago.

“I think parents are looking at the Grammar School at Leeds and Bradford Grammar which are both now co-educational and are thinking that their children are going to be in this setting after junior school anyway.

“Parents are busier than ever these days and our move to be co-educational will offer a one-stop drop for whole families, making life much easier for mums and dads.

“Their needs were also a key factor in our decision. All of our staff have said they are looking forward to teaching boys and a recent inspection report found that are teaching was vibrant with a lot of practical aspects to it which will suit boys very well.

“We were able to ask the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate whether they felt we could teach boys to the same high standard to which we currently teach girls.

“Their report, which praised both our staff and our pupils, confirmed our decision.”

The independent school currently has 100 pupils on its books but this could now expand over time as Moorfield accepts boys between the ages of two and four. The school was previously co-educational until the 1990s.

Mrs Crossley said she was confident boys would benefit from the “nurturing environment” at Moorfields.

She added: “Every school has its own character and at Moorfield we achieve good academic results by caring for the individual.”

Once the first cohort of boys at Moorfield are old enough the school plans to employ a sports coach who can teach them to play rugby. However the girls already play cricket and earlier this year launched a football team before the decision to become co-educational was made.