Education Blog

Does gender make a difference in the classroom?

Enjoy Education is running a series of articles in The Resident magazine to address the key decisions families need to make when it comes to schooling and education. This article looks at the choice between co-educational and single-sex schools by addressing a few core questions:

  • Should schools reflect the mixed gender balance of the real world?
  • What impact does the school environment have on grades?
  • Can co-educational and single sex schooling be combined?

      When selecting the right school, one of the first questions for parents to consider is whether their children would benefit from a co-educational or single sex education. Often tempered by their own experiences, this is a topic that can be difficult to answer. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, only what is right for your child at each particular stage in these formative years. Here are a few elements to consider when trying to understand what might be best for your children. 

     Advocates of single sex education will argue that allowing children to learn in an environment away from the distractions of the opposite sex allows for a greater focus on their academic education and therefore, is more likely to achieve better exam results. Tony Little, the former headmaster of Eton College, argued that single sex education allowed pupils to “be themselves”, extending their childhood until they reached the bigger, wider world. Away from the opposite sex, children can go through those all-important years without worrying as much about appearance or asking that obvious question in class. 

Recent research suggests that girls in single sex schools are more likely to achieve better GCSEs grades and continue into higher education than those in a mixed school.

     Others will argue that it’s important for children to be in a co-educational school as the real world and working life is co-educational. Schools should be preparing children for adult life and we all need to understand and celebrate our differences in order to succeed in the future. There are many arguments which show that a co-educational school gives children the opportunity to develop friendships and understand the boundaries and differences within a safe and structured environment. 

     Some single sex schools have adapted to meet this need and introduced co-education for 6th form. This can work particularly well for some students, especially if they have been in a single sex environment throughout their schooling. This flexible structure highlights an important aspect of the decision making process, you don’t need to pick one type of school all the way through. Your child might flourish in a single sex prep school only to go on and enjoy the co-ed environment of secondary school and, of course, vice versa.  

     Recent research suggests that girls in single sex schools are more likely to achieve better GCSEs grades and continue into higher education than those in a mixed school. Whilst other reports suggest boys perform better in a co-educational environment. However, for every report suggesting that one group performs better than the other, there’s another to counter the argument. It’s clear that there is no right answer. Rather than trying to weigh up the general academic scores, it’s better to understand what works for your child and in what environment they would be most likely to flourish. Each independent school is unique and choosing between co-educational and single sex education is just one part of the decision-making process. The right school for your child might surprise you! 

 

coed-single-sex-schools-battle

15/09/2017 Insight

How to Prepare for University

A Fresh Start By Bella Audsley (more…)
Read more
28/09/2016 Insight

Top Tips from ‘Demystifying the 11+, 13+ and Pre-tests’

We would like to share some exclusive insights with you from our fantastic ‘Demystifying the 11+, 13+ and Pre-tests’...
Read more
05/01/2018 Insight

Home-schooling: A journey back to school

Bella Audsley explores the rising trend of home-schooling and its place in the school system. "All students are unique individuals...
Read more
12/05/2015 Insight

Workshops and Masterclasses for Grown Ups

Unsurprisingly, articles on the Enjoy Education blog tend to focus on children, teenagers and university students, but of course...
Read more
26/03/2015 Insight

Getting the most out of your tutoring sessions

We all want to make the most of things in life and that is just as true for both...
Read more
15/08/2017 Insight

Going Back to School: The Dos and Don’ts

A few tips for starting the new school year with confidence. Words by Sophie Stead. As soon as the summer holidays...
Read more
25/04/2017 Insight

The Power of Positive Thinking

Why we cannot underestimate the impact positive thinking has on our children’s education Words: Kate Shand        ...
Read more
17/08/2017 Uncategorised

Our daughter did better than expected in her exams, can she still apply to Cambridge?

Question: Our daughter did better than expected in her exams, can she still apply to Cambridge?  The Telegraph, 17 August 2017...
Read more
25/10/2017 Insight

Navigating the journey to a new school?

Much like the school run itself, the journey towards finding a school for your child can feel like an...
Read more
07/04/2016 Insight

How to gain a music scholarship at secondary school

Question: My daughter is a talented musician, could she get a scholarship to an independent school?  The Telegraph, 7 April 2016...
Read more
13/10/2016 Insight

Planning to study medicine? Should you choose IB or A Levels?

Question: IB or A-levels: which should I take if I want to study medicine at university? The Telegraph, 13 October 2016...
Read more
02/03/2017 Insight

Novel Ideas to Celebrate World Book Day

A token of our appreciation for reading... (more…)
Read more
One to One Tuition
Enjoy Homeschooling
Relocation Support
Become an Enjoy Tutor

Award-Winning