Girls’ schools ‘rejecting traditionally feminine subjects’

According to research in the Telegraph, girls in single-sex schools are considerably more likely to study tough “masculine” subjects than their peers in mixed classrooms…

Figures show that pupils in all-girl private schools are 75 per cent more likely to take an A-level in maths and more than two-and-a-half times as likely to study physics as girls who are taught alongside boys.

Data also showed that girls’ schools were more likely to shun English, art and sociology courses – traditionally “feminine” disciplines – at the age of 16.

The disclosure prompted claims from the Girls’ Schools Association that single-sex environments gave girls more space to thrive instead of being shoehorned into subjects based on old-fashioned gender stereotypes…

Speaking at the GSA annual conference in Newcastle, Hilary French, the group’s president, said: “In a girls’ school, the pressure to opt for the subjects which are perceived as more ‘feminine’ just doesn’t exist and so the potentially talented female scientists, mathematicians and linguists are able to pursue their interests and achieve their full potential.”

In today’s study, researchers analysed A-level subject choice and performance among girls educated in the 180 fee-paying GSA schools. It was compared with all girls nationally, including those in state schools and co-educational private schools.

The data – compiled by the Independent Schools Council – showed that 38.5 per cent of girls in single-sex private schools took an A-level in maths in 2012 compared with 21.7 per cent of other girls.

In biology, 30.3 per cent of GSA girls studied the subject compared with 22.8 per cent of girls in other schools. Some 26.6 per cent of girls in GSA schools took chemistry A-levels compared with 15.6 per cent of other girls, while 11.6 per cent studied physics compared with 4.5 per cent of their peers…

More at:  Girls’ schools ‘rejecting traditionally feminine subjects’

What do you make of these figures? Are there other aspects at play or is a single sex environment more likely to encourage girls to take so-called ‘masculine’ subjects? Please give us your insights in the comments or on twitter… 

What are spellcheckers for? Embarrassed boys shun basics as they avoid writing
Schoolgirl, 13, with undiagnosed dyslexia so bad she can't write her own name is taught in isolation for two years
Categories: Secondary.


  1. philjeffes

    DrLucyRogers SchoolsImprove Agree. And how damaging a phrase is ‘traditionally feminine’ when applied to education! #everydaysexism

  2. ChipolJoJo

    SchoolsImprove. I worked in girls school. Saw this in action. Not rejecting ‘soft’ subjects, but happy to be seen as ‘clever’ without boys.

Let us know what you think...