Essay on Single-Sex School and Co-Ed School

683 Words Nov 2nd, 2012 3 Pages
Girls are far more likely to thrive, get GCSEs and stay in education if they go to a single-sex school, according to new research, which reveals pupils who are struggling academically when they start secondary school reap the biggest rewards of girls-only schooling.
The analysis of the GCSE scores of more than 700,000 girls taught in the state sector concludes that those at girls' schools consistently made more progress than those in co-ed secondaries.
The fact that pupils with the lowest test scores when they started secondary made the biggest leap in girls' school will reopen the debate about whether more children should have access to a single-sex education in order to drive up results.
The number of girls schools has dwindled in the
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Janette Wallis, editor of the Good Schools Guide, said: "A lot of parents will look at the benefits of co-ed schools, like the fact that girls and boys are educated side-by-side preparing them for the world of work and life. But to disregard this evidence would be a mistake. We never expected to see such a difference."
She said the effect could be down to girls working better without boys "distracting" them but acknowledged the fact that educationally aspirant parents could seek out girls-only schools, which could also make a difference.
Alice Sullivan, a researcher at the Institute of Education, University of London, and a specialist in single-sex schooling, said: "It is very interesting that girls seem to be making more progress at single-sex schools. It does support a body of research evidence that girls do better in single-sex environments."
However, other leading academics said the research was more conflicting. Alan Smithers, director of education at Buckingham University, said: "We know across the piece that the main variables relating to exam success are pupil characteristics, social background and quality of teacher. There is very little space for gender in the classroom to make a difference. Where it apparently has an effect it relates to other factors, such as the aspirations of the parents who want their daughter educated in a single-sex school. But if this is true it will change our understanding."
Sue Dunford, headteacher of Southfield School for

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