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Christchurch single-sex state schools should remain

Christchurch single-sex state schools should remain, UC survey finds

February 24, 2013
Christchurch single-sex state schools should never be threatened in future, a University of Canterbury (UC) survey into schools has found.
The four Christchurch single-sex state secondary schools - Christchurch Girls’ High School, Christchurch Boys’ High School, Avonside Girls’ High School and Shirley Boys’ High School - asked UC to develop an opinion survey to elicit preferences for state schooling from their wider community when mergers were proposed last year.
The survey was distributed by the four schools. From more than 2000 replies most respondents, especially those with a relationship to single-sex state secondary schools in Christchurch, preferred single-sex state schools.
Academic achievement was the highest ranked reason for preference of school type followed by school values/tradition and a supportive learning environment. UC education lecturer Dr Therese Boustead said having a choice was important to the majority of survey respondents.
``Most people wanted to be able to choose from either single-sex or co-education schools. They largely felt that Christchurch single-sex state schools should retain their single-sex identity and not become co-educational schools.
``Most respondents preferred to retain the number of both boys’ and girls’ state schools in Christchurch. Limitations due to zoning, lack of accessibility and lack of choice was cited more for girls’ state schools than for boys’ state schools.
``In terms of location of the single-sex state secondary schools in Christchurch, most respondents preferred to either retain the current locations of the four schools or have the schools located in the east and west of Christchurch.
``Most of the people surveyed were connected to at least one or more of the four Christchurch single-sex secondary schools,’’ Dr Boustead said.
Christchurch has two single-sex state secondary boys’ schools and two single-sex state secondary girls’ schools.
The earthquakes resulted in a redistribution of the Christchurch population and subsequent proposals for change by the Ministry of Education. Some of the ministry’s proposals addressed the relocation or possible merging of these schools.


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