Data shows single-sex schools outclass co-eds in VCE results but cost more

Single-sex schools are outclassing their co-ed counterparts in Victorian Certificate of Education results — but are blowing a larger hole in parents’ finances in the process.

The number of students achieving study scores at 40 or above was higher at sex-segregated schools last year, data from Victoria’s curriculum authority shows.

The Good Education Group analysis revealed that 8 per cent of VCE students at co-ed schools achieved 40+ study scores last year; in boys’ schools it was 14 per cent, and in girls’ schools 17 per cent.

But experts caution that the factors influencing educational outcomes are complex.

Single-sex schooling costs more on average than a co-ed education, figures to be published in The Good Schools Guide Victoria 2017 shows.

Independent and Catholic girls’ schools — which have the most single-sex campuses — have bumped up Year 12 fees from an average of $12,000 to $16,000. Boys’ school fees have increased from $11,000 to $14,000, while co-ed school costs are up from $8000 to $10,000.

A Herald Sun survey earlier this year found a rising number of the state’s better private schools were charging more than $30,000 in year 12 fees.

Good Education Group CEO Chris Lester said fees and results were important factors for parents to consider.

“But a school’s pros and cons should be assessed against your own child.

“Consider their skills and interests and how the school can support these through their curricular and extra-curricular offerings, such as music, arts and sport. Other practical considerations are factors such as location, diversity of the student cohort and the discipline policy,” Mr Lester said.

University of Melbourne Professor Lyn Yates said parents’ socio-economic and professional backgrounds, quality of teaching, and selective student mixes were other matters that influenced grades.

“Single sex is not a uniform category; just taking averages hides a lot of other things that might have contributed to it,” said Prof Yates, of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

“Some students seem to do better in single-sex schools and others do better in co-ed.

“But most of the serious research that’s been done shows factors other than single sex and co-ed seem to be at work in overall achievement.”



  • St Kevin’s College (Male) 29 per cent
  • Siena College (Female) 14 per cent
  • Sacred Heart College Geelong (Female) 14 per cent
  • Sacred Heart Girls’ College (Female) 13 per cent
  • Our Lady of Mercy College (Female) 12 per cent
  • Avila College (Female) 12 per cent
  • St Joseph’s College Geelong (Male) 12 per cent
  • Academy of Mary Immaculate (Female) 12 per cent


  • Yesodei HaTorah College (Male) 57 per cent
  • Beth Rivkah Ladies College (Female) 38 per cent
  • Bialik College (Coeducational) 37 per cent
  • Mount Scopus Memorial College (Coeducational) 35 per cent
  • Fintona Girls’ School (Female) 35 per cent


  • Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School* (Female) 38 per cent
  • Melbourne High school* (Male) 35 per cent
  • Nossal High school* (Coeducational) 27 per cent
  • Balwyn High school (Coeducational) 22 per cent
  • John Monash Science School (Coeducational) 22 per cent

* selective-entry schools

SOURCE: The Good Schools Guide Victoria 2017, using data from VCAA


This article orginally appeared in the Herald Sun – Single-sex schools outclass co-eds in VCE results but cost more, data shows

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