Your Say: Issue of the Week

Ashley St George

In this weekly street series we pick a hot topic of the week and ask for your thoughts…

Last month, Canberra Grammar School announced it would become co-educational for the first time in its 87-year-history.

Girls will now be able to apply for places in Year 3 and 4 in 2016 (the school is already co-educational from pre-school to Year 2). The following phase will allow girls to apply to attend Years 7 and 11 in 2017.

While the decision by the school’s board was informed by parental feedback and social and educational changes, it received a mixed response, with some parents “furious” they were not consulted. Curious to see what others thought, we took it to the streets, asking:

“Do you agree with the decision by Canberra Grammar to switch to co-ed?”

Cat, Red Hill.



“I don’t know whether the change is necessary and it’s very sad to lose Grammar as an all boys school. It’s something that has been long standing – my husband and extended family have all gone there and I understand, but it will change the way the education works there and I don’t think their scores will be as good. So I guess they’re going to suffer but at the same time it will bring more money into the school and they do good things with it.”

Diana, Giralang.



“I can see both sides of the point. I would want to ask the girls why they want to go there and I would want to ask the boys about why they would or wouldn’t want girls. I guess separation does provide benefits for both of them in some ways – more focus on study perhaps and just a uniqueness that is not available in other schools where there is co-ed, so if that limits the choice within Canberra then that’s something to be considered. Other than that boys and girls have to get along in life anyway, so it’s not a bad thing.”

Tim, Griffith.


“I think it’s a good thing, that it’s a positive step forward and will be good for the school. I think it will probably stay more or less the same. As long as they maintain a good relationship with the other schools, it’ll be good.”

Bonnie and Jessica, O’Malley.

Bonnie and Jessica


“We think it’s fine. We’re from the US so we are used to co-ed schools. I think it prepares you more for when you’re out of school, and socially. I think it’s better. It’s normal interaction between boys and girls.”

Chris, Farrer.


“I have a mixed opinion. I think that Grammar has been negligent in the way they have approached the parents and haven’t asked for it. They say there is consultation – there has been none. But now the decision has been made. I’ve had an elder boy go through and I can appreciate the history of Boys Grammar and I think we are losing something there, but I think that the fact that girls go there – I have no problem with girls being there – I just think there could have been better consultation.”

Do you agree with the move?

Photos by Ashley St George.

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