The debate regarding single sex versus co-education seems to produce quite mixed emotions. There are pros and cons for both and lots of evidence supporting single-sex education, from increased self-esteem to higher grades. Of course, lots of factors contribute to a child’s overall education and the type of school theyattend will depend on them; their abilities, character, intellect, hobbies etc. Nonetheless, I have teamed up with an independent girl’s school in Buckinghamshire to explore the benefits of single-sex education.
Over the past several years, numerous studies have shown that children who attend a gender-specific school perform better in their tests. Although it’s difficult to generalise, this might be because students are more comfortable and self-assured in lessons; essentially, they feel more confident when joining in discussions and participating in class. In other words, in a single-sex school, children aren’t concerned with impressing the opposite sex as they might be in a co-educational school. As a result, lesson plans are usually more dynamic, with ideas bouncing around and discussions flowing freely. What’s more, in a single-sex school, teachers can adapt their teaching techniques to suit the gender of the class, which is another element that can contribute to higher performance.
Boys and girls might find a mixed school quite distracting, particularly during their teenage years, and therefore a hurdle when it comes to learning. Research also implies that co-ed schools often emphasise gender stereotypes, while single-sex schools allow students to navigate outside of these limitations without feeling uncomfortable or judged. Of course, there are also many benefits to co-educational schools, either in the form of primary school or Sixth form education, where children are able to learn how to thrive in a mixed environment, preparing them for the real world. Despite all these pros and cons for different types of schools, the decision on where to send your child should attend should always involve them, as they are the ones who have to be there all day, every day.