Single-sex education for girls – The research
Research shows that there are “positive effects of single-sex schooling” in Australia in relation to numeracy and literacy testing and tertiary entrance scores. In addition, research shows that girls benefit from single-sex environments where there are no expectations that they should fulfil traditional gender stereotypes in the subjects they study, the activities they participate in or the careers they pursue. Girls attending girls’ schools are more confident and assertive in single-sex environments. Research demonstrates that girls feel empowered to behave in a more competitive ways without the presence of boys. Girls in girls’ schools are free to pursue academic excellence in any area they choose, including in the ‘gender atypical’ areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Statistics show that girls from girls’ schools are more likely to study STEM at school and pursue university studies and careers in STEM fields.
Girls’ schools in Australia and New Zealand, and also in the UK and the US, consistently ‘punch well above their weight’ when it comes to academic excellence. However, just as importantly, girls in girls’ schools have access to all leadership positions, every position on school sporting teams, every role in school drama productions and musicals, and every instrument in a school’s bands and orchestras. Girls are encouraged to participate, lead, compete and take risks – all of which are advantageous skills for careers and leadership. Girls’ schools also provide nurturing environments specifically catering to the education of girls, leading to many social, emotional and health benefits, including higher rates of participation in sport and a much lower risk of being bullied at school. At a single-sex school, girls are free to be who they want to be, both in the classroom and outside.
To view a video of British academic, Dr Alice Sullivan, discussing academic and life outcomes for students attending single-sex and co-educational schools, including the particular benefits for girls in attending a single-sex school, click here