Single sex schools linked to higher academic outcomes

An analysis of Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority data shows that private schools don’t necessarily produce students with better academic results, and that putting kids in single sex schools makes more of a difference. 

The Good Education Media, a private provider of education info and data, has revealed that forking out over $30,000 a year for a school like Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College, isn’t needed to achieve high academic results.

The Good Education Media found that schools like Saint Kevin’s College, a Melbourne Catholic school, which charges $17,000 a year, perform just as well in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Students receive a score from 0 to 50 to determine their VCE mark.

“Mount Scopus Memorial College, for example, charges around $34,000 in Year 12. They’re also one of the highest performing schools [in the VCE],” explained Ross White, Good Education Media’s Head of Product. “They achieved 35 per cent of their graduates with scores of over 40 [in 2015], which is very, very high. It’s one of the highest in the state at the moment.”

“To counterpoint that, you don’t necessarily have to be paying that sort of money to be achieving those sorts of results. Within the government sector, some of the selective government schools like [South Melbourne’s] Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School, where tuition fees are wholly voluntary; there are no tuition fees,” White continued. “They achieved 38 per cent graduates with study scores of 40 plus [in the same year]. Within the Catholic sector, which is typically, on average, much cheaper than the independent school sector, one of their highest performing schools was Saint Kevin’s College. They achieved 29 per cent study scores of 40 plus and their Year 12 tuition fees are around about the $17,000 mark, as opposed to the $34,000 at Mount Scopus. To answer your question, no, price doesn’t necessarily equate to performance.”

Rather single sex schooling makes more of a difference. The Good Education Media found the proportion of students with VCE scores of more than 40, was 8 per cent for co-ed schools in 2015. Comparatively, 14 per cent of boys in single sex schools achieved these marks, and 17 per cent of girls.

The full data breakdown is published in The Good Schools Guide Victoria 2017It has information on 578 schools across Victoria.

Professor John Hattie, chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and director of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Educational Research Institute, maintains that single sex schooling doesn’t promote academic achievement.

Hear from Chris Lester and Ross White on the results found through The Good Schools Guide 2017

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This article originally appeared on Education Review – Single sec schools linked to higher academic outcomes

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