New studies show that students from single-sex schools are happier with their lives compared to their co-educational peers.
Mission Australia’s Annual Youth Survey examined the issues of concern to young Australians aged 15 to 19. In a report prepared for the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, data from Mission Australia’s most recent survey, has revealed favourable outcomes for girls attending single-sex schools during the pandemic year of 2020.
As quoted in the Australian newspaper, “More than 60 percent of girls attending single-sex schools indicated they were happy or very happy with their lives — lower than the 66 percent satisfaction rate reported by males but higher than the 54 percent reported by all females.”
The survey also suggested that girls from single-sex schools reported less mental health concerns than females who attended co-educational schools (37 percent compared to 43 percent of all females). There are many factors that brighten a student’s experience including exceptional pastoral care, high quality teachers who underpin the daily experiences with a nurturing approach and promoting the concept of being free to express yourself without ridicule or embarrassment.
During Covid, our girls maintained a strong presence in Sport, Music and Visual / Performing Arts. Sport participation continued during the pandemic when the school was closed—an option that many schools neglected. At Mentone Girls’ Grammar, the students engaged in complimentary early morning gym workouts each week, Pilates and Yoga for mindfulness as well as virtual Aerobics and Dance training—which eventually paid off as our girls were crowned Australian School of the Year of Aerobics, Dance and Glee. Our students of all ages completed Walkathons, virtual running challenges and team spirit activities to maintain healthy bodies and minds.
“Sports participation was sustained throughout 2020, with 74 percent of girls attending single-sex schools playing regular sport — on par with boys’ participation rates and ahead of all females at 69 percent,’ the Australian also quoted.
Loren Bridge, Executive Officer of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia said that these results were a testament to the hard work that Australian girls’ schools put in during 2020 to bolster support for the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff.
“There is no doubt that keeping the whole school community connected and on track throughout online learning was challenging. Girls’ schools were able to leverage their already strong pastoral care programs and technology platforms to respond quickly and flexibly as the situation continued to change throughout the year,” said Ms Bridge.
Principal at Mentone Girls’ Grammar Ms Natalie Charles said, “If you provide a young woman with purpose and meaning, then you are instilling her with the greatest force on earth. It is my belief that we need to address the deep-seated existential need that we all have for transcendence—this certainly came to fruition with our outstanding ATAR results in 2020”.
Despite the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey’s findings suggest that students who attended girls’ schools remained enthusiastic and confident about the opportunities that life after school has to offer them.
The academic research on the benefits of an all-girl education shows that girls experience less bullying, make friends more easily, and feel a stronger sense of safety, belonging and connectedness to their school community than their co-ed counterparts.
At Mentone Girls’ Grammar, our focus is on the duty of care we have for empowering and educating the women of the future. We aim to instil her educational experience with hope, purpose and meaning so that she can change the world for the better.
- girls education