PARENTS at Marling School in Stroud have spoken out after the school released a statement stating that it will admit boys and girls into its sixth form from September 2019.

The single sex school had asked parents to give their views about proposed plans for Marling and Stroud High School sixth forms to discontinue their learning partnership.

Despite assurances from the school management that parental feedback would be considered at a governors’ meeting in March before a final decision was made, a statement was released stating that plans would go ahead, just two days after the consultation closed.

Currently sixth form students at Marling and Stroud High are taught jointly in mixed classes at A-level, but the new plans will see them taught separately from September 2019.

Both new sixth forms will allow both girls and boys to join but the gender split across both schools would be considerably less than it is now.

Marling headteacher Dr Stuart Wilson, reassured parents that every attempt would be made to attract new pupils to the school.

He said: “I firmly believe that a co-educational sixth form offers the right learning environment for our A-level students.

“This is why Marling sixth form will be making a huge effort to encourage existing students as well as boys and girls from across the area to join us in September 2019.

“This is an exciting time for Marling and we are completely committed to creating a co-educational, welcoming and aspirational sixth form.”

But parents, including Dana Fainaru, have voiced their concern that a ‘huge decision’ had been made without engaging those who it would directly affect.

“When we made the decision to send our son to a boys’ grammar school we were assured by the school that the sixth form would be mixed,” said Ms Fainaru.

“This is a huge decision and the school haven’t proactively sought to to inform or seek parents’ opinion - not even a meeting where we can ask questions

“I'm very disappointed - it seems a decision has been made without it being approved by the governors and there has been transparency throughout the process; minutes have not been made public and there is now a genuine concern about accountability.”

Marling website had previously featured an announcement that the admissions policy would be changing from 2019.

However, as of this morning the announcement has been removed and the following statement has been added: "The consultation period for the proposed 2019 Admissions Policy, has now ended.

"All submitted comments will be reviewed by the Governing Body before the policy is determined and published on our website."

The SNJ has contacted the school for comment.