Girls' success lends weight to case for single-sex schools

BY FRAN ABRAMS

Education Correspondent

Girls schools dominate this year's league table of the top independent schools' GCSE results, carrying off almost four fifths of the top scores.

Of the 53 schools where at least 99 per cent of entries gained a C grade or better, 39 were girls' schools. Twelve were boys-only and just two were co-educational.

The top school for the second year running was Withington Girls' School in Manchester, based on the percentage of exam entries gaining either A* or A grades.

Last night the Girls' Schools' Association said the case for single-sex education was now indisputable. Penelope Penney, president of the association and headmistress of Haberdasher's Aske's School, said the pupils needed little extra encouragement.

"We just feel that the single- sex argument is one that is borne out in the league tables. The fact is that both the single- sex boys' and girls' schools have done staggeringly well," she said.

In no fewer than 10 schools, every single candidate gained at least a C grade in every single subject entered. Nine of these schools were girls' schools and one, Westbourne College in Penarth, was co-educational.

At seven schools, more than four out of five exam entries gained either an A grade or an A*, the additional grade introduced last year for the top 3 per cent of candidates.

The figures were contained in the listings of GCSE results of 42,000 candidates in 625 independent schools which are members of the Independent Schools' Information Service, ISIS.

They showed that many of the schools, which are often highly selective, achieve remarkable results. More than four out of 10 entries were graded A* or A compared with 13 per cent nationally. More than nine out of 10 achieved C grades or better compared with 57 per cent nationally.

Candidates were entered for an average of nine subjects each, meaning that large numbers took far more.

David Woodhead, national director of ISIS, said: "By every measure, independent schools have outstripped national performances and demonstrated the wisdom of parents' investment in independent education," he said.

The performances of these top schools seem to be increasing despite a fall-off of the rise in GCSE pass rates nationally.

Last week, research commissioned by the co-educational schools' in the Headmasters' Conference showed that despite the excellent results achieved by girls schools they are not necessarily better than co-educational schools. Academics from the University of Manchester said that the key factor affecting the schools' performances was the extent to which they selected their pupils by ability.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?