The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has sounded the death knell for Australian single-sex schools which it predicts will disappear in the next 20 years.
An analysis of NAPLAN results revealed no significant advantage for parents who send their children to single-sex schools.
The OECD concluded that any perceived advantage was not because of the type of school but the socio-economic background of the parents.
Furthermore, the number of students enrolled in single-sex schools declined from 31 per cent to 12 per cent in 2015.
But then the debate gets murky!
The ACER report concedes that single-sex schools actually score better NAPLAN results, but students in co-ed schools demonstrate greater improvement and eventually catch up to their counterparts in single-sex schools.
Single-sex school advocates claim that students in their schools are often academically a year ahead of co-eds.
They argue that girls have a better chance of excelling in STEM subjects in a single-sex environment, participate more in sport and have significantly higher self-esteem.
In terms of declining enrolments, economic factors rather than irrelevance or poor performance are to blame. Most new schools are co-ed and more and more traditional single-sex schools are becoming co-ed.
Critics of independent schools will be chuffed that traditional single-sex schools, alleged bastions of privilege and perpetuators of elitism and the old school tie, will be soon assigned to the dust-bin of history.
Their hope is that independent co-ed schools will suffer a similar demise and, like Finland and elsewhere, Australia will then boast world-class state co-ed schools with few, if any private schools in the mix.
Champions of independent schools assert their right to choose and select a school that best suits the needs of their children.
Whether it be for the religious ethos or the academic excellence of a particular school, parents are often willing to make considerable sacrifices to enrol their children in independent schools.