Boys do better in single -sex schools

single -sex schools

The outgoing headmaster of one of Australia’s most prestigious boys’ schools has used New Zealand research to support his contention that boys do better in single-sex schools.

Timothy Wright is retiring in December after 17 years running the Sydney Church of ­England Grammar School.

He said he welcomed discussion around what it meant to be a man in the 21st century but not in a manner that unfairly generalised against half the population.

“It’s hard to have a conversation about this issue without people conjuring up issues of sexual harassment or domestic violence or ‘toxic masculinity’,” Dr Wright said of the term popularised by the latest wave of feminism.

“Attach that description to any other group in society and people would be outraged.”

With most of his 34-year ­career spent in boys schools, Wright believes there are benefits to educating boys in a single-sex environment.

He pointed to “compelling” research from New Zealand, conducted by Victoria University of Wellington.

The research found ­superior academic results and higher university entrance rates compared with those boys at mixed schools.

The independent study by Dr Michael Johnston, Faculty of Education at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), compares the performance of young men in Years 11 – 13 at New Zealand single-sex schools with those at co-educational schools.

The research shows that over the period from 2013 to 2016, young men from single-sex boys’ schools have gained passes in higher proportions than their counterparts at co-educational schools in:

  • NCEA qualifications,
  • University Entrance
  • New Zealand Scholarship

The VUW report follows on from the 2012 New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) report.

This report concluded that single-sex schools provided a significant advantage for boys in New Zealand.

The data illustrates there is a clear nationwide trend for young men in boys’ single-sex schools to be:

  • more engaged
  • stay longer in school
  • Achieve better academic results across all deciles and also significantly, across ethnicities including NZ European, Asian, Maori and Pasifika.

Both studies were completed for the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand.

Click here to see key findings of VUW study.


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News category: New Zealand.

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