Is There a Preference For Single-gender Over Co-ed Schools?
No. The Family Court will not be drawn into such abstract analysis, just as it will not be drawn on which school is better. Understandably these types of Court Applications are common place at the end of any given year, particularly when a child is about to commence schooling early the following year. Parents are often eager to have the decision made so that they can have certainty and commence preparation for the upcoming school year.
If you cannot reach agreement with the other parent about where your child should attend school, it’s important to bear in mind that the Court will not make a finding that a single-gender school is superior to a co-ed school or vice versa. The court accepts that both systems of education are well within societal norms, and therefore either option is acceptable.
The issue that parents should be looking at is whether a particular school meets the child’s particular needs, not comparing the schools in the abstract. Whether the school is single-gendered, co-ed, or performs better on NAPLAN – of itself – will have no bearing on the decision by the Judge.
On a practical level most decisions will be based on the locality of the school relative to where the child lives the majority of the time.