The study, led by Christian Dustmann, Professor of Economics at University College London, follows separate research released earlier this month warning that single-sex schools could disappear by 2035
However, Loren Bridge – executive officer of the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia – said the latest study “proves without doubt” that girls and boys do better in single-sex environments.
“Other studies have shown that students’ in single-sex schools outperform their co-ed counterparts, including the recent analysis of Australia’s NAPLAN results by ACER,” Bridge said.
“This study goes further and shows that students’ academic performance actually falls when they move from a single-sex environment to co-ed environment, and continues to decline the longer they stay in a co-ed environment.”
Bridge said the study found that girls are more disadvantaged in co-ed classes because of factors such as boys’ disruptive behaviour or a teacher’s attention being diverted to boys.
However, she added that boys are also disadvantaged, contrary to commonly held belief that boys do better in co-ed environment, boys’ academic performance also suffers in a co-ed environment.
Single-sex schools face challenging trend
A comprehensive new study released earlier this month that found single-sex schools may be headed for extinction, claiming there are no tangible benefits to separating students according to gender.
The Australian Council for Educational Research found that students in co-ed schools learn at the same speed or even faster than their segregated counterparts.
“In terms of the compounding influence of being in a single-sex school over time, there appears to be no value add in numeracy achievement and even a decline in reading achievement over time in single-sex schools compared to co-educational schools,” wrote research fellow Katherine Dix.
Dix also noted that single-sex schools are in fast decline – in 2015, just 12 per cent of students attending independent schools were in a single-sex establishment. The paltry figure has fallen from 24 per cent in 1995 and 31 per cent in 1985.
“If this trend continues, there will be no single-sex independent schools in Australia by the year 2035,” wrote Adelaide-based Dix.
Single-sex schools could disappear by 2035
Single-sex schools out-performing co-ed – study
A new study has found that converting educational environments from single-sex to co-ed leads to falling academic results for both boys and girls.