WHS students Ben Vellacott, Josh Day, Nathan Jones, Lucy Boland, Elsie van Hoof and Taylah Gibson think a co-ed school is the way to go.
WHS students Ben Vellacott, Josh Day, Nathan Jones, Lucy Boland, Elsie van Hoof and Taylah Gibson think a co-ed school is the way to go. Georja Ryan

Co-ed option wins students' backing over same-sex schools

GIRLS may have cooties, and boys might be filthy, but of the group of Warwick High School students surveyed, all agreed they would choose a co-educational school over a same-sex school any day.

It comes as Shadow Education Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk proposed Queensland high school students should be given the option to attend a same-sex state school to "improve educational outcomes".

Year 12 WHS student Lucy Boland disagreed with Ms Palaszczuk and said co-ed schools were just as good, if not better, and whether students wore skirts or shorts in your class, should not matter.

"I don't think we are at any educational disadvantage being in a co-ed school; in fact, I think it's really enriching," Lucy said.

Fellow senior student Taylah Gibson said she too thought attending a co-ed school helped eliminate social awkwardness when mixing with boys and girls in social situations.

Another year 12 student, Josh Day, agreed and said he could usually tell the difference between those who attended same-sex schools, and those that didn't.

"At swimming, you come across people from same-sex schools and they tend to stick together in their own group, whereas the students from say Goondiwindi, will come up and say hello," Josh said.

We turned to Facebook to see what the rest of Warwick thought.

Janeen Maguire said she had the best of both worlds growing up, but felt co-ed schools had that extra edge and prepared kids for the real world.

"I went to both; two years at an all-girls Catholic high school as a boarder and you tend to concentrate more in class and are a bit gamer to give your opinion but on the other side all girls can be really catty and let's face it two years of not having any real contact with boys/men makes some girls really shy and unsure how to even hold a conversation in a mixed room," Ms Maguire wrote.

"I then had three years at a mixed state high school and it soon taught you to deal with the real world as it stands and more able to deal with reality when finished at school.

"You tend to be really sheltered with just one sex and it can be a real culture shock when finished."

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said he failed to understand Ms Palaszczuk thinking.

He said Labor had raised the idea of single-sex classes five years ago and it was clear the Opposition was recycling old ideas.

"She isn't bringing anything new to the table," Mr Langbroek said.

"Single sex classes already exist in Queensland schools."

He said the decision for single-sex classrooms could be made by the school principal, in conjunction with parents and the school community, if they felt it necessary.



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