All-girls schools are better for female pupils because they can study traditional ‘male’ subjects ‘without letting sex get in the way’, according to a leading head mistress.
Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High, bemoaned the fact that some girls at co-educational schools ‘wear makeup like armour’ and constantly feel their looks are being ‘assessed by boys’.
She said some could be put off studying maths, science and engineering because the boys might consider it ‘unsexy’ – barring them from potentially fulfilling and lucrative careers in these fields.
In contrast, girls in single-sex schools can spend their formulative years ‘knowing they can do things free from the pressures of sexual attraction,’ she said.
Ms Lunnon, 46, an English teacher whose twin sister is also a private school head, was previously the deputy of Wellington College, which is co-educational.
However, she said she is now ‘a passionate advocate of single sex education’ having seen how her female pupils feel ‘unself-conscious’ in following their interests.
She said: ‘Sex often does get uncomfortably in the way at this stage - who’s going out and who fancies who.
‘Why let that happen in our classrooms?
‘It is a good thing to give them the room and space to be girls. Girls free and simple, uncompared and uncomparing.
‘Not girls as opposite to boys, not girls measured and assessed by boys – physically and intellectually.