GSA Research

As educators of girls it is important that GSA is a credible authoritative voice on the benefits of girls’ education, underpinned by evidence-based insights.

In the UK there are nearly 300,000 girls educated in girls’ schools and robust research ensures their voices are heard.


View the latest research and insights below.


Latest research:

Soft Skills Development and Gender – An analysis of mental toughness at UK schools

June 2021


New research – released at the GSA’s annual Summer Briefing for headteachers on June 14 – indicates that girls who attend single-sex girls’ schools are generally more confident and more emotionally in control than girls in coeducational schools.

The ‘mental toughness’ research also indicates that the pandemic may have exacerbated any gaps and differences that already existed, with girls who are more mentally tough potentially having an advantage in dealing with the pandemic compared with less mentally tough girls.

Find out more

Girls’ Academic Attainment

June 2021

Analysis of  the Department for Education (DfE) School Comparison data for England for the academic year 2018-2019 shows that:

  • Girls in girls’ schools are 2.5 times as likely to take Further Maths and Physics at A Level – compared to girls in other schools.
  • Uptake of other sciences is also higher with Biology 40% higher, Chemistry 77% higher and Computer Science 72% higher in girls’ schools compared to girls in other schools.
  • On average, students in girls’ schools outperform students in co-ed schools, at both KS4 and KS5
  • Girls in girls’ schools perform higher than students in co-ed schools across all schools and also when looking at independent schools only.
  • Higher attainment can be seen when looking at all subjects as a whole, and also for Maths and English separately

Find out more

Further reading

GSA Members can access the GSA Research Library in the MemberZone (login required) to keep abreast of the latest evidence-based insights. Each week this library is updated with newly released relevant research.


Other sources of useful information:


The Independent Schools Council (ISC) provides a picture of where independent schools sit within the UK’s education landscape, conducting regular research such as the Annual Census as well as bespoke research to inform the work of schools in the sector.


The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) in the Unites States conducts, sponsors, and disseminates research on the issues of importance to girls’ schools, education, and development.

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