The study, published today in School Effectiveness and School Improvement by Taylor & Francis, looked at English test scores for 15 year olds from more than 8,000 mixed-sex schools.

Researchers found that test scores for boys were significantly improved at schools with over 60 per cent female students.

Boys have previously been shown to be heavily influenced by their learning environment, meaning that this positive influence could be explained by the generally higher academic performance of girls. 

Anna Dabrowksi is a Researcher and Lecturer in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, whose current research focuses on education reform, inclusion and gender issues in education.

She says that single-sex schools could have a negative effect on students.

"The latest study from Dr van Heck adds to a widening body of research challenging the purported benefits of single sex schooling. Facilitating gender equity is an increasingly pressing concern for young people, and segregation of students does little to prepare them for post school trajectories: academically or socially.

"This latest study iterates that students from all gender backgrounds benefit from shared relationships within school settings. When we segregate students on the basis of gender, we deny children the opportunity to make connections that can augment learning and growth."


Read the full article online here.