Co-educational science class at Sedgehill Comprehensive School, 1960.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of children from Sedgehill Comprehensive School, London, during a chemistry class, taken by Smith for the Daily Herald Newspaper on 23 November, 1960. The merits of co-education were a topic for debate, as the cutting on the photograph's reverse reveals: 'The greater conscientiousness of the girls has a steadying effect on the boys, while the presence of the boys gives the girls security.' Later thinking on the issue found that boys, rather than giving the girls 'security', tended to disrupt learning and demand more of the teachers' time than the girls.