Marty Sharpe / Stuff
Hereworth Cchool in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay, hopes to take on girls as students from early 2023. (File photo)
Hereworth School, a private primary and middle school for boys in Havelock North, will not be able to welcome girls into its classrooms until at least next year as disruptions from Covid-19 have slowed its plans to become coeducational.
The school, which advertises itself as ‘designed for boys‘, announced in May last year that it would apply to the Ministry of Education to become a coeducational, state-integrated school.
He hoped the process would be completed before the school reopened this week, but Covid-19 got in the way, principal Trevor Barman said.
“We expect to introduce co-education and integration in early 2023,” he said.
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Integrated schools receive funding from the government, but also usually charge compulsory tuition fees.
The school wanted to change to meet the changing demographics of Havelock North, including increasing population growth, before the school’s centenary in 2027.
“Inclusion, diversity, equity; all these kinds of things come into play that are really important. It’s not that they aren’t present in single-sex schools, but there is a slightly better advantage in a co-ed setting.
Barman, who has 30 years of teaching experience in co-educational schools, said it was ‘natural’ for boys and girls to learn together as it reflected the reality that they would work together later in life. the life.
Private schools don’t need to ask the department to change from single-sex to mixed-sex, but that change was included in Hereworth’s request to move to a state-integrated model.
Jericho Rock-Archer / Stuff
Scots College students Charlie Dundon (year 11) and headmistress Rhian Beauchamp-Hughes (year 13) talk about the transition at Scots College from a single-sex to a co-educational school.
Integrated public schools are those with a “special character” run in partnership by its owner and the government.
Moving to a state-integrated model would also allow the school to increase its student population, from about 220 students due to start this year to 350 in a few years, and make it more accessible to a wider range of families, Barman said.
This would lead to a significant reduction in fees, which start at $14,000 a year for day students and $26,000 for boarders, he said.
The school had not yet decided on the level at which the girls would enter school.
Hereworth is not the only single-sex school in recent years to transition to a coeducational model. Scots College Wellington welcomed 53 girls in 2020.
The Department of Education has approved six new state-integrated schools since the start of 2020. These include new schools in areas with high population growth and private schools that become state-integrated.