NEWS that Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton is set to admit girls into its sixth form has been welcomed, but not by all.

If all goes as the school and it's governors plan, Ermysted's will after 530 years see girls join its ranks as full time students from September, 2025, although for now, only for post 16 year old education.

The school, despite being downgraded from outstanding to good last year - although its sixth form provision was one of the four out of five areas to remain 'outstanding' - shows no sign of being less popular with parents; the number of boys sitting the entrance exam remains as high as ever.

The boys, making their way up the school into the sixth form will still be guaranteed a place, providing they pass their exams, but the number of spaces offered to outside entrants will be increased; and it won't just be girls who apply, the sixth-form's new co-educational status may well appeal to those boys potentially put off by going to a single-sex school; especially if they have come to Ermysted's from one of the area's co-educational schools.

Most are likely to think it is a good idea, times have changed; but the headteacher of Skipton Girls High School, which was also downgraded to 'good' last year, points out that all the schools in the area will be increasingly competing for the same, diminishing number of students; and that it makes little sense to divert resources when post-16 year old provision in Craven is already excellent.

At the end of the day, however, having more of a choice has to be a good thing - for parents and pupils, if not the schools themselves.