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Experiences of single-sex (state) schools?

(3 Posts)
Sinkingfeeling Thu 06-Oct-11 00:10:57

Went to the open evening of a single sex school in our area today and was very impressed. Head claimed that the majority of pupils achieve more academically in single-sex education than mixed. Do you think this is true? I went to a single-sex school myself and the school had a very good academic track record (though it was a grammar). Are there disadvantages for attending single-sex and is the academic achievement thing over-stated? Now seriously considering this school for our dc, though it isn't the secondary most of their friends are likely to attend. Sixth form would be mixed, btw.

HSMM Thu 06-Oct-11 08:46:28

My brother and father were teachers. They always said girls did better in single sex and boys did better in mixed.

There has been a lot of research since then about how boys and girls learn.

Snorbs Thu 06-Oct-11 09:34:50

I think it depends a lot on the child, the school and the situation.

My DS has been at a single-sex secondary for just over a year now and, so far, I think it's been working fine for him. But then we didn't have a whole lot of choice with the way that secondary admissions work where I live. It was either that good single-sex school, or pretending to be a Catholic to get into the nearby (and fairly average) faith-based mixed school, or travelling quite a distance to a pretty mediocre mixed school. Or moving house.

I do worry a little that the lack of girls at school might cause later issues with relating to women but he does have a younger sister that he has a good relationship with, plus his oldest friend is a girl he's known since nursery. Anyway, I'm a man who went to a mixed-sex secondary school and I was absolutely rubbish around women until I was in my early 20s.

On balance I think it was the right decision for my DS as the school is more-or-less the best fit for him academically. But I would have been much more reticent about it if he didn't have the friendships with girls that he's built up over the years.

In a year I'm going to be facing a very similar decision for my DD - there's a reasonably good girl's school nearby plus the aforementioned and not particularly attractive mixed-sex options. I think in her case the single-sex school will be the best choice but again that's more for the academic fit rather than the single-sex thing. And I would be very much more uneasy if she didn't already have a shrewd idea about boys.

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