The girls are taking over

IT'S not a happy prospect for the lads in education in terms of attainment and it could become a lot worse. Girls appear to be smarter, stick in, read more, do far better in exams. They now are moving on into the teaching profession where they can imprint further stereotypes of success in primary and now even more in secondary (page three). The feminisation of education rampages on.

Twenty years ago this would have been hailed as a triumph, and indeed it is a cause for celebration that so many young people are doing well and achieving what they want out of education and later on in adult life. The next stage is to achieve parity in positions of authority, a more difficult test, not least because of family commitments and the interruption to career paths. That apart, there may be other barriers. Progression up the leadership ladder has a steady correlation with gender characteristics.

However, boys are in danger of lagging behind for a generation if they have fewer role models in secondary because even more of the profession is female. Some suggest the deschooling starts in primary where sightings of males are confined to janitors and headteachers. In terms of driving up overall attainment, the focus is on the boys. But this year's exam results are no better at the higher levels.

Across English and maths exams from Intermediate 2 to Advanced Higher, girls are doing markedly better. More pass and more get better grades and the trend does not appear to be lessening. Even in maths, which has been viewed as a traditional boys' subject and where many of the teachers are male, girls are doing better at the Higher benchmark, the analysis by the Scottish Qualifications Authority confirms (page one).

Sorry, lads, but you'll just have to do better.

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