The case for single-sex schools amid the co-ed shift

It’s an age-old debate: are our children better off in a co-educational environment or a single-sex one?

While opinions and research vary on this topic, at Loreto College Marryatville, we firmly believe that the choice should ultimately rest with parents, who are most attuned to their child’s individual needs and preferences.

While there has been discussion about a widespread shift towards co-education, recent data suggests otherwise. There has indeed been a modest decline in the percentage of students educated in single-sex schools over the last decade, however the absolute number has grown, indicating continued demand for this educational model. In fact, girls’ schools have seen significant enrolment growth, with 96% of girls’ schools across NSW reporting increased demand for places in 2023. In South Australia, there has been nearly an 8% growth in enrolments within girls’ schools over the past 6 years.

A growing body of research suggests that single-sex education correlates with higher academic achievement, with NAPLAN scores tending to be slightly higher in single-sex schools compared to their co-educational counterparts.

Loreto College Principal Kylie McCullah says this underscores the positive impact that the focused learning environment of single-sex education can have on academic outcomes.

“In 2024, the importance of single-sex education remains significant as it continues to provide a valuable alternative to traditional coeducational settings,” Ms McCullah said. “By fostering a supportive and focused learning environment, single-sex education equips students with the tools they need to thrive academically, personally, and socially in an ever-evolving world.”

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