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I know in my heart I am not the only child who experienced this; although I cannot speak for what happened after I left the school, many girls at my school found themselves hospitalised for eating disorders while I was there.So it is true, at least in some cases, that a single sex environment does not equip a child to socialise effectively with the opposite sex. I can vouch that my GCSEs were a huge struggle for me because every day I sobbed at the prospect of having to get out of the car and face another school day alone.
As you might remember, I spent my sixth form at Brighton College.
They were, without any exaggeration, the best two years of my educational life.
Our own school provides a host of mixed activities, such as dancing, networking dinners and social events.
However, we do not feel that the amount of times we wish to attend any of these will define our success.
That, however, is not the crux of my message to you.
I have read some of the comments made by those defending single-sex education; that an all-girl environment engenders female empowerment and the knowledge that 'anything boys can do we can do too'; that it produces better grades because the girls are not distracted by the opposite sex (that old chestnut); that it breeds a supportive network of close-knit females exercising camaraderie and kindness on a daily basis. In both single-sex schools I attended, I was systematically bullied.
I was told at that particular school that I would never achieve success at A level; at Brighton College, I thrived in an environment where I truly did feel supported and loved and I emerged with three A*s at A level. The real issue is that it is highly unnatural to segregate boys and girls at such a key stage of their development.
For many people, their all-girl experience was a happy one, but I challenge them to justify my experience with theirs.
Before I came to Brighton College I attended two all girls' schools.