Understanding the Experience of Girls from Disadvantaged Backgrounds and Girls with SEND in Single-Sex Schools

Donna Stevens, CEO at the Girls’ Schools Association commented:

“The importance of GSA’s research cannot be overestimated. Always spearheading critical insights into girls’ schools to inform our purpose, this newest study provides important data that demonstrates that girls in girls’ schools on average have higher levels of wellbeing, metacognition, self-efficacy and motivation than their co-ed counterparts. But most importantly it reveals ground-breaking information on the experience of girls from disadvantaged backgrounds and girls with SEND;

  • Girls at single-sex schools, on average, had higher wellbeing, self-efficacy, motivation and metacognition than their peers at co-educational schools.
  • Girls from disadvantaged backgrounds have higher levels of wellbeing and metacognition than their more advantaged peers at co-ed schools
  • Girls with SEND have higher metacognition than girls without SEND at co-ed schools
  • It is also fascinating to see how girls in girls’ schools appear particularly attuned to societal inequalities when it comes to gender.

These are hugely important findings which provide a number of positive indicators about the experience of girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in single-sex schools. They are welcome to us at the GSA; pioneering girls’ schools have always been at the vanguard of the most forward-thinking and transformative educations.”


About ImpactEd

ImpactEd is a social enterprise that exists to improve pupil outcomes by addressing the evaluation deficit in education. They help schools and education organisations to measure their impact so they can focus on what is working best to improve outcomes for young people.
All schools participating in this project received individual access to ImpactEd’s digital platform to monitor the wellbeing and engagement of their pupils. To find out more about partnering with ImpactEd, visit www.impacted.org.uk.

Owen Carter, Managing Director of ImpactEd, commented:

“We have been delighted to work with the Girls’ Schools Association to deliver this innovative piece of cross-sector research reaching over four thousand young people. The report sheds light on the complexities of the factors affecting girls’ wellbeing, motivation and self-efficacy – with some encouraging suggestions for how disadvantaged young people can be supported in a single-sex environment. We hope this will support schools of all types in considering how they can most effectively support young people.


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