Single sex schools are thriving across the world | Portsmouth High School

Single sex schools are thriving across the world

Last week I attended the Global Forum for Girls’ Schools in Washington DC as part of the GDST contingent and on behalf of the Girls’ Schools Association.

It was an interesting few days not least because it reaffirmed that challenges in education are the same irrespective of country of origin and that single-sex schools are very much thriving across the world. In the session I led along with the Head at Bath GDST and her head of juniors we met educators from Columbia, Peru, Australia and the US.

Dr Kevin Stannard, GDST Director of Education and Innovation, was also with us in the USA and this weekend writing in the TES he reports that “the girls-only sector stubbornly refuses to die”probably sparked by his visit last week. In the auditorium for the key note speeches there were a thousand delegates listening to champions of single-sex education and hearing how going to a girls’ school helped form them to be resilient in life.There was much whooping from the audience in a truly American style. Dr Stannard remarks on the benefits to boys of having girls present in the classroom and it is reputed that placing a girl next to a disaffected boy has a positive effect on the male but what about the effect on the female? I am sure girls don’t want to have their classroom experience affected by having to control an immature boy.

Dr Kevin Stannard’s published article can be read here: https://bit.ly/2KeEDqL

Listening to the former tennis player Billie Jean King I was, as you can imagine, impressed by her sporting triumphs and how she faced down controversy through her long career. The only reason she didn’t receive a scholarship to college, unlike Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, was because she was a woman; she is now very much a champion of the feminist movement. Beating Tracy Austin, twenty years her junior at Wimbledon, was one of the inspirational stories she told. Age and the optimism of youth was against her but she didn’t let that stop her giving the match her all and the rest, as they say, is history. A lesson for us all.