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Girls' school to accept boys after 80 years - leaving only one single-sex establishment in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 10 April 2019

One of Norfolk's two remaining single-sex schools, Hethersett Old Hall School, will start accepting boys into its senior school from September 2019, making it fully co-educational. Picture: Dave Guttridge

One of Norfolk's two remaining single-sex schools, Hethersett Old Hall School, will start accepting boys into its senior school from September 2019, making it fully co-educational. Picture: Dave Guttridge

Archant

One of the two remaining single-sex schools in Norfolk is set to become fully co-educational.

Hethersett Old Hall School will be accepting boys into its senior school from September 2019, 11 years after governors decided to move to co-education in its preparatory department, accepting boys from aged three to 11.

The move leaves Norwich High School for Girls as the final bastion of single-sex education in the county.

Stephen Crump, headmaster at Hethersett Old Hall School, said school leaders felt now was the right time to make the move to a fully co-educational offering, following requests from parents over the years to open up its senior department to boys.

It will also be opening up its boarding facilities to boys, which are available for students aged nine to 18.

Stephen Crump, headmaster of Hethersett Old Hall School, which is set to become co-educational. Picture: Stephen CrumpStephen Crump, headmaster of Hethersett Old Hall School, which is set to become co-educational. Picture: Stephen Crump

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Mr Crump said: “We have a long track record of successfully educating senior girls but this creates problems for families with children of both genders – we have to ask boys to leave at the end of year six. This will make life easier for our families in planning for their children’s future and also it will avoid those difficult goodbyes.”

Mr Crump added that expanding the senior school to both sexes would also help to meet local demand for independent school places. “With Hethersett and Wymondham expanding rapidly, we feel that we are well placed to serve our local community,” he said.

“We have superb facilities, a beautiful site and excellent transport links to London and Cambridge and we expect our pupil population to grow rapidly in the coming years.”

Norwich High School for Girls, run by the Girls’ Day School Trust, has been educating girls in the city since 1875 and has a nursery, prep school, senior school and sixth form.

The last 11 years have seen two single-sex schools in Norfolk open their doors to the opposite sex: in 2008 Norwich School began accepting girls of all ages after previously making its sixth form co-educational – a move which broke with 900 years of single-sex tradition at the school – and in 2009 Thorpe House School near Norwich merged with the co-educational Langley School and began accepting boys for the first time in its 110-year history.

Suffolk only has two single-sex schools left, both in Ipswich.

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