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Nottingham Boys High School going co-ed

(76 Posts)
NickL Wed 02-Apr-14 15:24:46

The headmaster has, just this morning, announced that, after 502 years, the High School will be enrolling girls from September 2015.

Would you send your girls there rather than across the street to the NGHS?

recentoxgrad Wed 02-Apr-14 16:24:56

Very interesting.

They are right in that there's no academically selective coed school in the area.

Interesting that they say they are below capacity at the moment, which I know is true of NGHS as well. I believe the girls school is only have a 4 form entry this coming year. The reason I've heard for that is the demand for financial support, and there's just not enough to go around, rather than applicants not meeting the standard.

It's going it interesting to see what the girls school does. I foresee a big problem with sixth form, although they do take a reasonable number in from other schools then.

Very surprising anyway.

daisygrabber Fri 04-Apr-14 20:43:47

Very interesting! As a former NGHS girl I vowed no son of mine would go to NHS. My son goes to Trent (not so academic but a fab school) which seems to be pretty full with around 120 in each year. The Elms has massively expanded in last few years too.
I'm amazed the High schools aren't full.

defineme Fri 04-Apr-14 20:50:40

I think studies have shown that the only ones that will benefit from this are the boys. The boys results go up a bit and girls go down a bit.
The two schools have often had reciprocal arrangements-can't imagine that will continue.
It's such a shame for NGHS, but obviously the NHS head wants to fill his school. NGHS don't have that option as they're members of girls' school association. Can't imagine sending my dd to NHS.

MissSmiley Fri 04-Apr-14 20:54:48

Wow! Really interesting. I had always planned to send my ds to NHS and he was offered a place for September but he was also offered a place at Kings grammar in Grantham. We chose Kings.
Will watch with interest.

MillyMollyMama Sat 05-Apr-14 00:59:29

I think the comment about too many people wanting bursaries is illuminating. Mumsnet is full of people asking how to get a bursary and seem to think all schools are richly endowed. Many have to pay bursaries out of fee income. There have been many boys schools that gave gone co-ed but few girls schools have admitted boys! I don't know these schools but it is interesting that too many people aspire to the schools but want help in actually making it happen. Presumably the boys school believes there are plenty of rich girls' parents about and has done its research. If not, a costly mistake!

daisygrabber Sat 05-Apr-14 09:18:37

Defineme, I agree. Why would anyone choose NHS over NGHS for a girl? The reciprocal arrangements have been in place a long time. We did drama productions with boys 35 years ago ( amongst other things. . . ).

Ockbrook is now co ed too.

Lormiccro Sat 05-Apr-14 16:05:43

Very surprising indeed. My DD attends NGHS & we have over the last year been to open days at the boys school to consider our DS in the next year or so. I have to say there is no way I would choose to send my DD to the High school. The girls school (NGHS) is the school of choice for my DD. There are many studies that point out that boys actually do better in a co-educational environment, unfortunately this is not reciprocated for the girls. Girls do perform better in an all girls school. They are able to be themselves, & learn without being gender stereotyped. As for the head teachers comments of the High School who believes it's better for girls & boys to interact from an early age so they can understand each other when they leave school. Well!!! It's only a guess but I'm sure 500 years worth of boys would say they didn't feel emotionally stunted when conversing with the opposite sex upon venturing out into the wider community on completion of their studies?

MoreBeta Sat 05-Apr-14 16:13:35

The long history of private boys schools going co-ed is that the local private girls school numbers eventually collapse and merge into the former boys school 5 - 10 years later.

It happened in our town.

marialuisa Sat 05-Apr-14 16:42:04

Will be interesting to see how selective they can be in relation to the girls and whether it affects Hollygirt more than NGHS. Although I guess some parents choosing Hollygirt will have specifically wanted small school.

MillyMollyMama Sat 05-Apr-14 18:49:05

MoreBeta. What girls' schools collapsed when Wellington, Stowe, Uppingham and Rugby went co-ed? Is it not more about stabilising behaviour and getting better results with girls on board?

KildrummyDriver Sat 05-Apr-14 20:23:20

It can take up to 20 years for a single sex school to become properly co-ed, ie for most of the staff to have been recruited into (and therefore support) the new co-ed culture...

MillyMollyMama Sat 05-Apr-14 20:43:29

I agree KildrummyDriver. We looked at several boys schools that admitted girls for my DDs. It was noticeable, many years after becoming co-ed, that glorious sports facilities for boys were not matched for girls and heaven help you if you wanted dance!

RayofSun Sat 05-Apr-14 20:58:21

My DS(6) is just about to start the high school in Sept and I am really unhappy that this was not made aware to us when we signed up as we were debating Loughborough too. As I used to go to NGHS I fully expected Dd(2) to go there too and cannot imagine sending her to the high school. I am concerned that the NGHS result have consistently been better than the boys over a number of years and this will dilute things further. I was also very keen on single sex ed from 11+ and am unsure what benefits this will bring. Will people choose the high school to bring balance to the classes and avoid the supposed bitchyness, eating disorders etc that ails the NGHS reputation or will all the girls who do they into the NGHS start going to the hight school whereas thy previously went to Hollygirt?
The decision appears so financially motivated that it makes you worry as to how much thought hasseen given to the idea.

MoreBeta Sat 05-Apr-14 21:29:12

MillyMolly - in a town where there is a separate boys and girls private school near each other (typically where brothers and sisters go the relevant school) there is a tendency is for girls to migrate to the boys school in Sixth form.

Once the sixth form numbers start to collapse in a girls school the A level results standard drops and then parents start to choose the 'better' co-ed school in lower years.

Its happened in my town a few years ago. There is still one girls private school left and two co-ed private schools that used to be boys schools that subsumed girls schools. The remaining girls school has virtually no sixth form and is teetering on the edge with shrinking numbers. The co-ed schools are expanding.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 05-Apr-14 21:34:56

Ds is there and I think it's a good idea but I'm on the fence. Girls do tend to 'calm' the boys down and they are right in saying that they will have to work with the girls in the 'real world'. It's a bit daft considering it's next to a girls school though and it means there's no where else that only caters for boys.

Ds thought it was an April fools joke!

minimarshmallows Sat 05-Apr-14 22:25:46


I predict quite the opposite to the NGHS/NHS/Hollygirt issue.

NHS can afford to be very selective about the girls they take (assuming they get strong applicants) - they'll be wanting the top, not the ones who wouldn't ordinarily make the NGHS cut. What is far more likely is that girls who wouldn't used to get into NGHS and went to Hollygirt will now be able to get into NGHS. Especially since there's falling numbers entering NGHS anyway. They'll drop their standards to get girls in - and if you're willing to pay for Hollygirt, you can pay for NGHS.

I see this as a nail in the coffin for Hollygirt. What is missing now is an all boys Hollygirt, where the boys who will be pushed out by girls at NHS can go.

Interesting times and a huge financial outlay for the school. Sporting facilities wise they are going to have to build an astroturf I think - which will be a selling point if you have a sporty girl (unless NGHS have one now?).

I wonder whether there will be many staffing changes.

And more frivolously - what's the girls' uniform going to look like?!

NCFTTB Sat 05-Apr-14 22:34:53

I agree completely minimarshmallows and I too wonder what the uniform will look like. I think it's a good thing for the girls' school parents, as it means that they will now have a viable alternative and therefore the girls' school will have to become less complacent in order to retain their pupils.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 05-Apr-14 22:36:59

They have said there will be no changed of staff just yet but they will increase accordingly, and it will be a phased admission, Sep 2015 they will admit girls into year 12, into Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. In September 2016 girls will be admitted into Year 7, 3, 4, 5, 6 and a limited number into Years 8-10. The school currently has 987 children and is licensed for 1180. There will be minimum expenditure 'in the first instance' and they already have toilets in the school for female staff and female visitors.

From what I gather (they have sent info out to the parents) they will not be dropping any standards to let the girls in and judging from the time scales they are not doing this because they are in financial trouble.

NCFTTB Sat 05-Apr-14 22:42:07

I think they are financially sound too. They are an independent independent school, so all fee money gets spent on their school alone.

I think it's a way of not dropping their entrance requirements; they can select from the brightest children regardless of gender.

I also think it's a brilliant school and it's fantastic that girls will soon be able to access it too in the near future and be educated alongside their brothers. I am very pro co-ed.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 05-Apr-14 22:45:41


minimarshmallows Sat 05-Apr-14 22:59:52

I have read all the information they've published - and it was good to see such well explained data, stats etc.

spending 'in the first instance' is the key - existing toilet capacities may suit visitors and staff numbers, but not a coed school (though I do recognise such numbers are a time away). I'm coming from the point of view of actually experiencing a boys' school going coed (admittedly a boarding school) and there are plenty of changes that are needed as the number of girls increases.

Along the lines of sport, since that is another strong selling point of NHS - They need to make sure there's the same opportunities for girls to access good facilities, teachers, fixtures etc.

It's going to be great for parents of girls as their choice has increased.

I would've loved to be in a Year 10 NGHS classroom this week to hear them gossiping and discussing whether they're going to apply for Sixth Form!

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 05-Apr-14 23:03:05

They've already broken up, minimarshmallows. I don't expect the year 10s will be bothered.

I imagine they will need more toilets and a changing room at Valley Road if they don't have one already. I can't see too much that needs changing.

minimarshmallows Sat 05-Apr-14 23:38:05

They didn't break up until Thursday... So 2 days of chat.

And you really don't think the first girls who could move for 6th Form wouldn't be discussing it? Hmm.

Not sure why you're acting so defensively to what I say! As I said, I have lived through a boys school going coed. Plus I have a vested interest in this decision too.

I think it could be great - for NGHS as well. It's a real opportunity for them to reappraise what they offer. Perhaps look into offering the IB, as one example. Plus they have their new arts centre on the way, so that's a great selling point and potential to attract new people. Hopefully, and especially with the GDST behind them, they can continue to offer a fantastic education but not rest on their laurels.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 05-Apr-14 23:51:50

Yup, no time at all. I didn't get the mail until the 2nd. It doesn't give current parents a lot of time.

I'm really not being defensive, mini, I can see where you're coming from. I doubt I'd get a lot of opinions from ds though. smile

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