This weekend we celebrate our College with our annual Open Day. It is an opportunity to showcase the school and meet prospective students and families. Our online registration for tours suggest the event will again be very well attended.
At Open Days and at enrolment interviews I am often asked to give an opinion on the relevant merits of co-education and single gender schools. I always explain that it is great to live in a part of Perth where we are blessed for choice and there are lots of excellent schools.
In recent decades there has been a move towards more co-educational Catholic and Independent schools. Historically, there have been pragmatic reasons for those changes. In the Catholic sector the declining number of teaching Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters has meant that the amalgamation of schools has made good economic sense.
At John XXIII College we believe that co-education provides a comfortable environment in which students learn and grow. Gender is a core element of our identity and the formative years of childhood and adolescence are the right times to establish respectful, collaborative patterns of understanding and behaviour. One of the reasons our students are successful and comfortable in the tertiary sphere is because they are accustomed to co-education.
Studies suggesting that either gender performs better in the presence or absence of the other are counteracted by studies suggesting otherwise. I have had the pleasure of working in co-educational and single gender Catholic and Independent schools and have thoroughly enjoyed each experience. It really comes down to an individual choice for each child and family.
There are wonderful co-educational schools and single gender schools throughout Australia and the world. It is brilliant that we live in a society where families can make informed choices. We are very proud of our Loreto and St Louis heritage and thrilled that we now offer the benefits of over 40 years of co-education at John XXIII College.