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Kids at Brisbane's single-sex schools do better, and here's the proof

2017-03-09
"Our comprehensive analysis of the data shows that these advantages are trivial and, in many cases, non-existent," she said.

Kids at Brisbane's single-sex schools do better, and here's the proof

Kids at Brisbane's single-sex schools do better, and here's the proof

Queensland's OP results have been released, and they show the best performers in Brisbane are predominantly single-sex schools.

A whopping 56 per cent of boys at Brisbane Grammar eligible for OP scores achieved a 1-5, while 55 per cent of Brisbane Boys' College OP students received an OP 1-5. 

In fact, four of the top five Brisbane schools for OPs 1-5 were all-boys schools.

St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School is the highest-ranking all-girls school, coming in at number four with 46 per cent of eligible students receiving an OP 1-5. Brisbane State High School is the highest-ranking co-ed school, with 195 of their 425 OP students (or 46 per cent) receiving an OP 1-5.

While at face value these results suggest single-sex education is the way to go if you want your children to achieve high university entrance scores, the reality is a little more complicated. 

Professor Bob Lingard from the University of Queensland's school of education said it was the background of the students rather than their type of schooling that affected these results.

"This is more a reflection of the middle-class backgrounds of the students than anything else," he said.

There is plenty of debate about the benefits of single-sex schooling, with the latest large-scale study failing to find any benefit to single-sex schooling at all.

In September 2016, Professor Diane Halpern of the American Psychological Association revealed that a meta-analysis of 184 studies involving more than 1.6 million students showed the differences between co-ed and single-sex education are minor at best.

"Our comprehensive analysis of the data shows that these advantages are trivial and, in many cases, non-existent," she said.

A review of 15-year-olds' performance at single-sex and co-ed schools by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2009 found similarly small differences.

While the performance of students at single-sex schools was markedly different to those at co-ed schools, once socio-economic factors were taken into account that difference was reduced.

Most of the Queensland schools with high OP 1-5 percentages were private schools, but a number of state schools also performed well.

Benowa State High School and Mansfield State High School both had 30 per cent of OP students in the OP 1-5 bracket, and Indooroopilly State High School saw 28 per cent of OP students achieve an OP 1-5.

In fact, the school with the highest percentage was Longreach State High at 62.5 per cent, with five out of their eight OP students achieving scores in the top bracket. 

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Source: Brisban Times
"Our comprehensive analysis of the data shows that these advantages are trivial and, in many cases, non-existent," she said.

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