Focus on Women – parent letter to the Sydney Morning Herald

19 June 2017


Last week the Canberra Times ran an article on the declining numbers of enrolments at single-sex schools over the past decade. While they didn’t take into account any demographic, school imposed changes or overall socio-economic influences, they did look simply at the attraction of single-sex versus co-educational schooling.

Indeed, despite the author’s efforts, single-sex schooling was shown to be both in demand by parents and students alike. Merici College principal Loretta Wholley and students from Merici College gave a clear insight into their own experience of the benefits of a girls school.

Read the Canberra Times article.

Following the article, an interested Merici parent wrote into the Sydney Morning Herald to express his own opinions at the real motivation behind many parents educational choices, particularly their family’s decision to send their daughter to Merici College.

Here is his letter:

Focus on women

I am always amused at “research” which suggests particular types of education facilities are no different to others “once results were controlled for other differences”.

Those other differences – parental engagement, student motivations, staff perspectives, resources and family background – are actually not particularly easy to discount in any research model.

As a family, we chose a single-sex school for our daughter – Merici College.

This was due to our belief that this school, this particular school, offered her the optimal environment to excel.

Paramount was our belief that Merici College prioritises the education of women, the leadership of women and the place of women in society.

While other schools may achieve similar outcomes, at Merici there is no ambiguity about the fact that women can achieve excellence in all areas.

That is a message that we believe will serve our daughter very well into the future, as it does now.

Patrick McArdle, Watson