Reports on single-sex education for girls
Now in its 21st year, the Mission Australia Youth Survey continues to be the biggest annual survey of its kind. A total of 18,800 young people aged 15-19 years took part in the 2022 Youth Survey. This report provides an overview of the survey data of girls who attend Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia member schools. Available here
A recent study undertaken by Scientia Associate Professor Rebecca Collie and Scientia Professor Andrew Martin funded by a grant from the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia focussed on the unique role of academic buoyancy in academic outcomes for girls. Available here
Research – released at the Girls’ Schools Association UK (GSA) Annual Conference for Heads on 22 November – indicates that girls who attend GSA girls’ schools are nearly 5 times more likely to play cricket than at another type of school. In addition, a girl at a GSA school is 30% more likely to play football. This report looks at the barriers facing girls in sports participation and makes comparisons with boys and all girls in rates of participation in sport. Available here
The Girls’ Schools Association UK (GSA) established the UK’s biggest cross-sector research partnership in single-sex girls’ schools in 2022, representing a unified collaboration between the independent and state sectors. In this report, developed in partnership with ImpactEd, GSA provides a welcome focus to the experience and outcomes of disadvantaged students and students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) from single-sex girls’ schools.
Over the past few years, and particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, several research projects revealed that teenage girls can often have worse non-cognitive outcomes than their male peers. In light of these findings, GSA sought to understand outcomes for girls and investigate how different educational environments can impact upon their experiences. Available here
According to a report released by Helen Connolly, South Australia’s (SA) Commissioner for Children and Young People, sexism and stereotyping are now considered a “normal part” of school culture with sex-based bullying incidents “generally not reported due to a belief that nothing can or will be done about it”. The SA-based research team conducted interviews and focus groups with 365 children and young adults from diverse backgrounds from the metropolitan Adelaide area (from both schools and non-government organisations). The data revealed a high instance of stereotypes and sexism in the lived experiences of South Australian school students, especially girls and young women when males are present in the learning environment. Download the full report here.
This report is an analysis of the OECD’s PISA data from 2015 and 2018. The Alliance commissioned the Macquarie Marketing Group (MMG) to analyse the data and compare the results for girls from single-sex schools with girls from co-educational schools in Australia and New Zealand. The findings are overwhelmingly positive for girls’ schools. Available here.
While there’s an abundance of research to support the case for girls’ schools it can often be time consuming and difficult to find. This comprehensive literature review synthesises research findings from around the world into one report confirming the benefits of a girls’ school education. Available here.
An American study of nearly 6,000 incoming female university students has found that graduates of all-girl schools are more likely to show higher levels of science self-confidence, consider themselves critical thinkers, score higher on measures of academic habits of mind, and demonstrate stronger study habits (Riggers-Piehl, T., Lim, G., & King, K., December 2018). Download here.
The Hands up for Gender Equality study, based on a survey of over 10,000 students in Years 7 to 11 from Queensland’s top performing girls’ and boys’ schools has found that self-confidence in single-sex schools is “gender neutral” (Fitzsimmons, Yates & Callan, 2018). Download here.
Dr Kevin Stannard, Director of Innovation and Learning at the Girls’ Day School Trust (UK), summarises the recent research on single-sex education, neuroscience, gender stereotyping and pedagogy, concluding that there is strong evidence that girls-only education leads to higher academic achievement, greater diversity of subject choice, and enhanced career progression (Stannard, August 2018). Download here.
A report commissioned by the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia has found that girls in single-sex schools in Victoria are more likely than girls in co-educational schools to study chemistry, intermediate mathematics, advanced mathematics and physics in their senior years (Forgasz & Leder, October 2017). Download here.
A report prepared for the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (US) — based on the survey data of over 5,000 girls from girls’ schools and 5,000 girls from co-educational schools — found that girls from girls’ schools have higher aspirations and motivation, are more challenged, are more actively engaged in the learning process, and experience higher levels of support from teachers and classmates than girls’ in co-educational schools (Holmgren, 2014). Download here.