Girls who attend single-sex schools ‘at disadvantage in world of employment

The Independent is reporting claims from an independent school head that girls who attend single sex schools face being at a “huge disadvantage” in the world of employment because they may be unable to communicate with boys.

“They may have a clutch of A*’s (at A-level) and a first class degree but if they cannot meaningfully communicate with male colleagues they will be at a huge disadvantage,” said Richard Cairns, headteacher of top-performing independent school Brighton College – itself co-educational.

In an article for the magazine Independent School Parent, he predicts the gradual demise of single-sex schools, arguing that parents are “voting with their feet now – there are now a third fewer girls’ only schools and half as many boys’ schools as there were 20 years ago – a trend I believe will continue”.

“Boys in single sex schools tend to create their own their own artificial hierarchies where only those in the 1st XV rugby team are truly valued while girls-only schools sometimes suffer a degree of emotional intensity that can lead to bullying.

“Contrast that with a co-educational world where girls admire the boys who dance, sing or act and so, therefore, do the boys.  Contrast that, too with a mixed environment where the emotional intensity of all girls is diluted by the boys.

“In other words, there is a place for everyone and an environment where girls and boys can be themselves.”…

More at ‘Girls who attend single-sex schools ‘at disadvantage in world of employment’


We reported comments on a similar theme from Richard Cairns a few months ago, although in that case he seemed more concerned with boys’ schools.

What do you say? Valid points raised or not? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Do single sex schools put girls at a disadvantage?

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  1. MadgeJesss

    SchoolsImprove IMHO communication with adolescent boys not same skill set as working in a mixed team of adults 🙂

  2. EvidenceTeach

    SchoolsImprove Teachers are learning to spot the bias of the writer and ignore claims made with no evidence. Ignore bold assertions.

  3. NatashaDangers

    SchoolsImprove You are warmly welcome to visit WestonbirtSch to see how our girls communicate brilliantly with all visitors,male or female

  4. Helentheoffice

    SchoolsImprove same “disadvantage” surely applies to men from single sex schools but in a different context?

  5. Kathfanderson

    SchoolsImprove Or does he mean that girls’ school educated women can’t, or won’t, “play the game”? Co-ed benefits boys more than girls IME.

  6. nathaliehickson

    SchoolsImprove againstmisogny deal with sexual harassment/sexual bullying. As boys/men
    are not taught to respect girls/women #misogny

  7. LaCatholicState

    SchoolsImprove Girls have male fathers brothers neighbours cousins friends. There’s a whole life outside of school. Ridiculous claims

  8. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove We need not worry about the girls. From all I see they are doing very well in the world of work. It’s boys I worry about…

  9. fgr62

    SchoolsImprove what about boys from single sex schools ? Are they not at disadvantage ? Or is it not important for men to relate to women ?

  10. MissGumbrell

    SchoolsImprove *waving* Fortunately, a teenage career as a football referee helped me along the way (much to my alma mater’s disgust!).

  11. SchoolsImprove

    fgr62 See the link at the bottom – he has previously criticised these too (albeit for different reasons)

Let us know what you think...