Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have announced plans to merge their boys’ and girls’ schools, The South Wales Argus reports.
The well-known schools announced this week that they are consulting on a proposal to merge Years 7 to 11 of Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls. The sixth form at Monmouth Schools is already co-educational under a “diamond” model.
A final decision will be made on the proposals in October of this year. If approved, the proposals could see a fully co-educational Haberdashers’ Monmouth School from September 2024.
Lord Moynihan, chairman of the governors, said that a co-educational move would respond to “societal changes” and is increasingly “what parents, and indeed pupils themselves, are demanding.”
It would also enable the schools to “capitalise on efficiencies” through a “rationalisation of the schools’ extensive estates,” he said.
He said in a statement released to ISMP: “We’re keen to canvass as many views as possible on what would be a very significant change at Monmouth.
“We believe that moving to a fully co-educational school will allow us to provide top quality education to our pupils from three to 18 – for generations to come.
“There is a significant trend towards co-education in the independent schools’ sector. The majority of parents believe it prepares their children properly for university and adult life.
“We have launched this discussion process in response to this and I’m really excited by what the future holds.
“Both the girls’ and boys’ schools deserve their strong academic and pastoral reputations and should be proud of what they have achieved.
“Should we eventually decide to merge, we will ensure that the best aspects of both schools are preserved.
“We are very excited by the potential that going fully co-ed presents, which responds to societal changes and is increasingly what parents, and indeed pupils themselves, are demanding.
“We have two terrific schools, and we believe that bringing them together will make them even stronger, delivering the best education for our pupils.
“At the same time, it would enable us to capitalise on the efficiencies that a rationalisation of the schools’ extensive estates would deliver; efficiencies that would deliver outstanding value for money.
“We propose to deliver transformative development, including a range of pioneering initiatives and exciting, innovative estate developments such as the creation of an outstanding Sixth Form Centre, an enhanced sports offering, more opportunities in the arts, a better boarding experience and unifying the working week for boys and girls.
“The resulting merger would also make huge steps towards the sustainability of all aspects of our schools’ estates and reduce our environmental impact.
“We recognise that our schools are an important feature of life in Monmouth. We are a major employer in the town, and we value very highly our responsibilities to the wider community.”