Girls do better if singled out

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
Your lead article ("Girls still take the poorer options", TES Cymru, June 9) is a stark reminder of what happens with little or no provision for single-sex teaching.

In girls' schools, there is no gender stereotyping of subjects. Physics and maths at A-level, or a career in engineering, are as possible and as popular as any other option. Girls learn to play to their strengths in a climate uncluttered by reference to "traditionally male" choices.

Co-educational state schools in England are beginning to recognise different developmental and learning needs for boys and girls aged 11-16, and offer single-sex lessons in some lessons.

The Assembly government's policy for equal opportunities, and 14-19 learning pathways scheme, currently include no provision for single-sex options.

Take adolescent girls out of the co-ed classroom and watch their aspirations change.

Dr Brenda Despontin Headmistress Haberdashers' Monmouth school for girls and president of the Girls' Schools Association

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