Understanding the Experience of Girls from Disadvantaged Backgrounds and Girls with SEND in Single-Sex Schools
The Girls’ Schools Association established the UK’s biggest cross-sector research partnership in single-sex girls’ schools in 2022, representing a unified collaboration between the independent and state sectors.
In this first report, developed in partnership with ImpactEd, GSA provides a welcome focus to the experience and outcomes of disadvantaged students and students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) from single-sex girls’ schools.
Over the past few years, and particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, several research projects revealed that teenage girls can often have worse non-cognitive outcomes than their male peers. In light of these findings, GSA sought to understand outcomes for girls and investigate how different educational environments can impact upon their experiences.
Girls’ Academic Attainment
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
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 International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) in the Unites States conducts, sponsors, and disseminates research on the issues of importance to girls’ schools, education, and development.