Girls mark up another milestone;Leading Article;Opinion

6th August 1999 at 01:00
IT EMERGED this week that girls have reached another milestone on their road to liberation. The news that they have outstripped boys at A-level is the culmination of a 20-year effort to reverse a history of underachievement. Academically, as well as culturally, girl power has come of age.

The reasons for this success are complex, reflecting social as much as educational change. The gains made by a generation of feminists have led parents to expect more of their daughters: to do well at school, go to university and to take up demanding careers.

But changes at school have played their part. The demise of the 11-plus, which favoured boys at the expense of girls, and the rise of coursework for GCSEs and A-levels, have created an environment in which girls have flourished.

The current panic about boys should not be allowed to reverse this trend. Rather, we should be looking to build on successful girl-friendly strategies by devising similar methods for under-performing boys. This cannot be achieved overnight. But it can be done.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today