The announcement by The Armidale School in NSW that it will enrol girls from 2016 has promoted a plethora of media reports and opinions on single-sex education. The fact is that the movement toward co-education is usually driven more by economic feasibility than educational outcomes.
The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia – which represents government, independent and Catholic girls’ schools in Australia, New Zealand and Asia – advocates that girls’ schools provide unparalleled opportunities and achieve better educational outcomes for girls.
Studies show that girls achieve excellent academic results in girls’ schools, however academic achievement is only one measure of a good education. In a learning environment that is free from gender discrimination, girls are more confident and assertive; they are more likely to study science and mathematics subjects; and there is a higher rate of participation in sport and physical education. Post-school they are also more likely to pursue tertiary study and STEM careers, hold leadership positions and earn higher wages.
Alliance President, Fran Reddan, who recently appeared on The Today Show to argue the case for girls’ schools says that, ”Single-sex schools give girls and boys the opportunity to be taught in relevant ways to suit their different stages of development”.
Mrs Reddan also believes that girls’ schools are at the forefront of ensuring that girls have the academic and leadership skills to equip them for a very different future than that envisioned by previous generations.
“Many of the jobs that today’s pre-schoolers will hold have not even been invented yet,” says Mrs Reddan, “and girls’ schools encourage girls to pursue the highly-skilled and more highly-paid careers in areas traditionally dominated by men”.
To view Fran Reddan’s interview on The Today Show, click here