The headmistress of Cambridge’s only all-girls school has said a single-sex education is the best way to help them succeed in “stereotypically male subjects”.
Charlotte Avery, of St Mary’s, was responding to figures that show girls at single-sex private schools are more than twice as likely to take physics A-Level than those studying with boys.
The research by the Girls’ Schools Association, which is hosted its annual conference in Newcastle, found of those girls 75 per cent more likely to take maths and 70 per cent more likely to take chemistry.
The study also revealed that girls at GSA school get a disproportionate number of the top A-Level grades in these subjects.
She said: “There is a weight of evidence to show that girls perform best in stereotypically male subjects, including science and maths, when taught in a single-sex environment. They not only gain better examination results, they also acquire important life skills which they would find harder to achieve in a co-educational school.
“In an all-girls school, students aren’t influenced in their choices of subjects by the presence or boys, and there are no boys to dominate the classrooms, leaving the girls with space to build intellectual and social confidence.”