We are excited about the future of education at Barker and the invaluable opportunities coeducation will provide us to fulfil our vision of being a leader in Christian education that inspires global hope.
The most important task for Barker is to provide a well-rounded and balanced education for all our students.
Most independent schools, including Barker, were established well over 100 years ago, in a very different world and with very different attitudes towards the roles of men and women. Given the changing world we live in and the stereotypes that can develop in single sex environments, we are of the view that coeducation, and a more inclusive and diverse community, can go some way to addressing the challenges facing the Australian community.
Coeducational schools affords students the opportunity to work and learn together, to be inclusive and respect diversity.
Life outside school is for both genders. Some parents will choose coeducation and some will choose single sex. It is a personal decision and should be based on the needs of the child. Parents know their child best. At the end of the day we all want our children to be happy, and a great school experience plays a significant role in that happiness.
Coeducation is not new for us. Girls commenced in the Senior School in 1975 and Barker began its transition to full coeducation in 2019 in the Junior School and 2020 in the Secondary School, becoming fully coeducational by 2022. We seek to expose our students to diverse opportunities and experiences, so that they are able to develop resilience and adaptability within a supportive environment.
More than 80% of the world's great schools are coeducational. The world has shifted. The world of work, the world of education, the world of employment and the world of leadership has shifted considerably in the 21st century. We have a beautiful heritage at Barker, and we are preparing our students for a future that will be far less defined by gender roles than in the past.