Durham School is one of the oldest schools in Britain but it was not until 1985 that the first girl became a pupil here and Pimlico House came into being. Between 1985 and 1998 girls were admitted to the Sixth Form only and in 1998 the Senior School became fully co-educational, admitting girls from the age of 11. The final step towards a total commitment to co-education came in September 2006 when Bow, Durham School’s Preparatory School, also opened its doors to its first girls.
Durham School is committed to co-education because we feel that girls and boys should grow up together and learn to live and work side by side, as in real society. We believe strongly that the quality of teaching that goes on in the classroom is more important to pupils’ quality of learning than whether girls and boys learn separately or together per se.
We do, however, believe that girls and boys need to be away from the opposite sex for some of the time and that is why we have single-sex Houses within the wider co-educational school community. In this respect, we feel that our pupils can have the best of both worlds!
Many of our activities benefit hugely from the co-educational nature of the School, notably Music and Drama, although the girls and boys have the chance to perform as separate sex units in our annual House Music and Drama competitions, two of the pupils’ highlights of the year. The vast majority of sports are single sex activities, mixed hockey being one of the rare exceptions.