David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
bluemoon
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David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby bluemoon » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:18 pm

'Is it all over for boys schools?', TES Connect, May 27 2011:

This is an interesting article where David Boddy the 'incoming chairman of the Society of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Independent Schools' is quoted frequently. Its at this link: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6085977

Here are some David Boddy quotes:

'... there are certain virtues in single sex schools' which include not having to compete academically with girls... they could be intimidated and so underperform.'

He believes that St James appeal 'is not just academic'. He says parents are attracted by its promotion of "old-fashioned" values and by the spirit that is created in an all-boys environment.

He goes on 'many parents want their sons to be in male company and grow up as men'... 'the virtues of courage and strength and uprightness come to the fore in the company of other boys'.

So is he implying that they disappear in the company of girls? What a strange and worrying idea.

The article goes on 'he argues that the absence of girls makes boys more willing to embrace these values' ... 'in the presence of another chap, a chap might be prepared to put his head above the parapet and speak out' he says. 'In the presence of a girl, particularly at puberty, they are not so willing to step up to that role'.

Then someone called Jane Horrocks talks about her son and being 'won over' by the ethos of St James. Parrot-fashion she states: 'It allows them to focus more without the distraction of girls'.

The article goes on 'some people have suggested we could take girls in the sixth form, but Mr Boddy remains opposed. "We are pretty much of the view that single-sex education is the way forward for us, I'm 155 percent confident that we will carry on as an all-boys school."

155 percent?! Lovely comment at the bottom of the article from someone who says '..I would never have sent my children to single sex schools, but I I would never send children or advise parents to send their children to a school where the headteacher does not understand percentages. You cannot be 155% sure. You cannot be more than 100% sure.'

I don't know about others but my 17 year old son is in a mixed independent school now that had a long male only history right back to the 15th centrury, but that has not stopped them moving with the times. He says he is grateful for the girls perspective in class.
Last edited by bluemoon on Thu May 24, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

Blissfully Sleeping
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby Blissfully Sleeping » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:30 am

Gee Wizz, do you think Ms Horrocks might be a member of the SES?

woodgreen
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby woodgreen » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:41 pm

Are we talking about Jane Horrocks the actress? ( Little Voice, Ab Fab and a host of other credits)? Hope not, she hails from 2 miles away from me in the North West, although lives in London these days, and is seen as something of a local heroine. Oh dear, if so, the SES tentacles certainly do spread. She may reconsider if she checks out the full story of the SES and it's Schools. Maybe she should talk to Clara. Wonder if she calls in on Brinscall Hall when she is back up North! She did "Who do You Think You Are" for the BBC and her parents and family were on - they are a normal family and Jane's great grandad ( I think , maybe further back) was a rich cotton mill-owner in Lancashire - Preston I think. Hope it's not her, would be dissappointed and maybe worried for her son. However, C'est la vie if it is. Her choice as they say ( and hubby?) - let's hope they find out soon about the SES. regards, woodgreen. Had a rest, was good!
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

JAMR
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby JAMR » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:44 am

Woodgreen, you said,
Is it really 'distraction' that is the issue, or is it simply much easier to indoctrinate the boys and girls separately in the SES's 'old-fashioned' values?


Research on single sex or co-ed schools indicate that girls tend to do better in girls only than they do in co-ed, while boys are not affected as much. It is also thought that co-ed schools tend to moderate the boys behaviour over what might develop in a boys-only school. It depends upon what outcomes you are seeking. If better school exam results are the objective, then it appears to be single sex best for girls and boys perhaps co-ed, which creates a problem. If its trying to match the real world of mixed gender, then perhaps we should be looking for co-ed.

Your son probably does benefit from co-ed exposure, just as someone with a daughter might find a disadvantage as the girls seem easier to distract and competition between them is more intense when there are boys around. Boys it seems are capable of high risk, uncouth behaviour all by themselves and while they do compete when there are girls to be impressed, the girls also moderate. Interesting mixture.

Blissfully Sleeping
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby Blissfully Sleeping » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:37 am

Research on single sex or co-ed schools indicate that girls tend to do better in girls only than they do in co-ed, while boys are not affected as much. It is also thought that co-ed schools tend to moderate the boys behaviour over what might develop in a boys-only school. It depends upon what outcomes you are seeking. If better school exam results are the objective, then it appears to be single sex best for girls and boys perhaps co-ed, which creates a problem. If its trying to match the real world of mixed gender, then perhaps we should be looking for co-ed.


Hmmmm. Where is this so called research you and others speak of? When you can show me academic, peer reviewed research on this issue I'll be happy to consider it. Until then, you are just regurgitating another Urban Myth!

bluemoon
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby bluemoon » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:08 am

I think you are right Woodgreen the quote above was most likely the actress Jane Horrocks. This further quote from her must be in the St James brochure, see link below:

“My son is thriving at St James Senior Boys. The schools focus on a philosophy that looks beyond the self-seeking values of the modern world is helping him to become an insightful and caring individual.

Jane Horrocks – Actress”

http://view.digipage.net/?userpath=00000674/00015330/00049524/&page=19

Interesting quote from Barry Norman (guest speaker sometime at St J) on the same page.


JAMR (interesting name!) wrote (it was me you were quoting rather than woodgreen by the way):

Research on single sex or co-ed schools indicate that girls tend to do better in girls only than they do in co-ed, while boys are not affected as much. It is also thought that co-ed schools tend to moderate the boys behaviour over what might develop in a boys-only school. It depends upon what outcomes you are seeking. If better school exam results are the objective, then it appears to be single sex best for girls and boys perhaps co-ed, which creates a problem. If its trying to match the real world of mixed gender, then perhaps we should be looking for co-ed.

Your son probably does benefit from co-ed exposure, just as someone with a daughter might find a disadvantage as the girls seem easier to distract and competition between them is more intense when there are boys around. Boys it seems are capable of high risk, uncouth behaviour all by themselves and while they do compete when there are girls to be impressed, the girls also moderate. Interesting mixture.


I agree with most of what you say there.

Blissful, I don't know of any outside research on this but it is my experience with my own kids.

Best wishes, Bluemoon
Last edited by bluemoon on Fri May 25, 2012 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

Blissfully Sleeping
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby Blissfully Sleeping » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:22 am

Hi Bluemoon,

Personally, I find the concept of single sex education counter intuative and I am an active advocate for co-educational schooling. My point is, that the above mentioned "research" is trotted out whenever this issue is raised. I just want to see this research everyone is talking about. It's a little weak to quote "research" as a basis for an argument when you've never seen the said research or know for sure that it even exists. Isn't that kind of "lack of intellectual rigor" one of the arguments used against SES?

Respectfully, Blissful

JAMR
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby JAMR » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:12 pm

Blissfully Sleeping wrote:
Research on single sex or co-ed schools indicate that girls tend to do better in girls only than they do in co-ed, while boys are not affected as much. It is also thought that co-ed schools tend to moderate the boys behaviour over what might develop in a boys-only school. It depends upon what outcomes you are seeking. If better school exam results are the objective, then it appears to be single sex best for girls and boys perhaps co-ed, which creates a problem. If its trying to match the real world of mixed gender, then perhaps we should be looking for co-ed.


Hmmmm. Where is this so called research you and others speak of? When you can show me academic, peer reviewed research on this issue I'll be happy to consider it. Until then, you are just regurgitating another Urban Myth!


Get onto Google and do some searches around co-ed, single sex, academic etc and you should get enough to satisfy your scepticism. Despite the politics, most sources seem to agree on the differences.

If you want more that wiki type answers, Google is still your friend include "primary research" and you will get closer to the source.

http://www.saskdebate.com/media/2013/si ... sfinal.pdf

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morrigan
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby morrigan » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:07 pm

Lots of "primary" schools are excellent with both boys and girls - they don't assume either boys or girls are better at all sorts of studies, games, behaviour etc. And they very often have both girls and boys playing together at football, rugby, tennis, exercise, etc etc Better and more modern than years ago. IMO and also how many parents feel.

bluegreen
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby bluegreen » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:31 pm

I think girls are a very good influence on my little boy at school.
But also, ignorance breeds predjudice. If you never meet a black person you will be frightened when you finally do and believe whatever you are told about them. If you grow up with black children all around you, you barely notice the colour difference and are less likely to generalise and be a racist. The same goes for genders. I suspect all boys schools are more likely to breed sexists.
St James Girls School 1977-1981

JAMR
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby JAMR » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:20 pm

morrigan wrote:Lots of "primary" schools are excellent with both boys and girls - they don't assume either boys or girls are better at all sorts of studies, games, behaviour etc. And they very often have both girls and boys playing together at football, rugby, tennis, exercise, etc etc Better and more modern than years ago. IMO and also how many parents feel.


Primary education is affected differently to secondary. The onset of puberty changes the behavior of boys and girls and aside from the fact that late primary kids are now often well into puberty. As you do not refer at all to the research on academic results, are you suggesting that this is not a relevant measure of the success of a school or a student. There seems to be a strong idea that a homogenous gender society and something that is 'normal', ie. as society is mixed gender, therefore a mixed gender school must be better. Society itslef is full of conflict and competition, and much of this exists because we have teo genders. I dont see the connection between the assumed moral position that natural is somehow better and must therefore produce better academic results. I myself support mixed sex schools because they do reflect larger society, however there seems no question that girls get better esults in single sex schools. I am not suggesting this is either good or bad, just the reality. You position seems to have an assumed moral goodness that we should mix the genders. What are you basing this on?

JAMR
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby JAMR » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:30 pm

bluegreen wrote:I think girls are a very good influence on my little boy at school.
But also, ignorance breeds predjudice. If you never meet a black person you will be frightened when you finally do and believe whatever you are told about them. If you grow up with black children all around you, you barely notice the colour difference and are less likely to generalise and be a racist. The same goes for genders. I suspect all boys schools are more likely to breed sexists.


Te research supports the idea that mixed sex schools better socialise boys behavior, however they distract girls more, as they do better in girls only schools. This presents us with a political problem. If a major objective of schools is to produce obedient, law abiding citizens and academic achievement, and the way to do this for boys is to put them into co-ed and the way to achieve this for girls is to put them into girls only - how should we proceed?

I disagree with your comment about the reality of mixed race schools. My experience of al ranges of racial mixed schools did nnor operate remotely like this. In a predominantly white school, there was no issue with a low number of black kids, but it became an issue when the school became mostly black. Once it was 90% black it stabilised and the white kids that were left had adjusted totally. Not sure if you are speaking from experience or experimental evidence, as you do not support your assertion. What basis are you using for this?

bluemoon
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby bluemoon » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:44 am

JAMR wrote:

My experience of al ranges of racial mixed schools did nnor operate remotely like this. In a predominantly white school, there was no issue with a low number of black kids, but it became an issue when the school became mostly black. Once it was 90% black it stabilised and the white kids that were left had adjusted totally.


I think you said you are from South Africa. That must be a special case, for obvious reasons. You did not mention what your experience was/is in concluding the above?

Bluemoon
Last edited by bluemoon on Fri May 25, 2012 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

JAMR
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby JAMR » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:40 am

bluemoon wrote:JAMR wrote:

My experience of al ranges of racial mixed schools did nnor operate remotely like this. In a predominantly white school, there was no issue with a low number of black kids, but it became an issue when the school became mostly black. Once it was 90% black it stabilised and the white kids that were left had adjusted totally.


I think you said you are from South Africa. That must be a special case, for obvious reasons, or do I need to spell it out to you? You did not mention what your experience was/is in concluding the above?

Bluemoon


I have lived in South Africa, but I was schooled in Kenya. Most African countries (outside of South Africa) would have had similar profiles. My kids are schooled in Australia with another racial mix. My comments can also be supported by logic. Groups form from common features and benefits of being a group. In the case of mixed racial schooling, differences always cause sub groups, race appears to be one of these in many instances, just as academic ability, gender, sports ability, attractiveness provide differentiators. My experience was that schooling operated generally based upon normal lines of academic, interests, sporting etc but there were also quite strong racial divides as well as tribal lines. This was despite the fact that English was spoken at home by all students and all standards were similar.

With a massive influx of black kids the racial divides were greater as language, general standards, were very different. Once my school, and there were many schools in similar situations, other white schools would arise to try and retain their differences. The whites that remained in the mostly black schools did adjust but adopted the features of the majority. If you set aside any moral content in this, its not difficult to see parallels in most societies.

However, comparing mixed race and gender is not totally valid as genders are complementary, while races are not.

Now that I have provided more background to my assertions, are you prepared to support yours?

bluegreen
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Re: David Boddy on boys only schools - TES Connect article

Postby bluegreen » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:06 pm

I was talking about primary school as my son is 5.
I was not making any comments about mixed race schools as I have no experience or knowledge on the subject. My little boy is in a class in a rural school with 22 white boys and 6 white girls. Most of them have never talked to a black person. My son has, many times as my parents have fostered several Zimbabwean kids/students. He has once mentioned their skin colour but only as it hit him about 6 months ago when he noticed, but not in a derogatory way.
I was talking more about ignorance causing prejudice. I could have been talking about dogs. Kids who are raised with dogs go confidently up to any old dog and stroke it. Those who don't, hide behind their mother's skirts. This is an observation. I cannot and do not want to back it up with recent research or statistics as I am merely making conversation.
St James Girls School 1977-1981


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