Who opened the first co-educational school?
The first CO-EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL in Britain was opened by Henry Morley at Marine Terrace, Liscard, Cheshire for boys and girls aged 8 to 15 in the spring of 1849. The school was unusual in several other respects, having carpeted classrooms, no corporal punishment, and lessons in the form of quizzes between two competing teams. It was also the first school known to have included current affairs in its formal curriculum, the whole of Monday morning being given over to the discussion of a topic in the news. Discipline was maintained by a system of rewards and deprivations. and the most marked sign of Morley’s displeasure was the discontinuance of lessons as a punishment. `Lessons were not to be regarded as their pain, but as their privilege, when they became too unmanageable the privilege was for a time withdrawn’ he wrote in one of the earliest texts on progressive education. (School-keeping, Household Words, 21 January 1854.) The fees of the school were 10 guineas a year, but despite an increasing number of pupils, Morley was unable to pay his debts, and in June 1851 he accepted a position on Charles Dickens’s Household Words and closed the first real venture into co-education as a system.