Boys’ schools from around the world have praised a newly-released independent study by Dr Michael Johnston, Faculty of Education at Victoria University of Wellington, which compares the performance of young men in Years 11 – 13 at New Zealand single-sex schools with those at co-educational schools.

The research shows that over the period from 2013 to 2016, young men from single sex boys’ schools have gained NCEA qualifications, University Entrance and New Zealand Scholarship passes in greater proportions than their counterparts at co-educational schools. This follows on from the 2012 NZCER (New Zealand Council for Educational Research) report which concluded that single-sex schools provided a significant advantage for boys in New Zealand.

Both studies were completed for the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand and the data illustrates there is a clear nationwide trend for young men in boys’ single-sex schools to be more engaged, stay longer in school and achieve better academic results across all deciles and also significantly, across ethnicities including NZ European, Asian, Maori and Pasifika.

This latest independent research concludes that while the advantages for young men at single-sex schools are consistent across all decile groups, the greatest advantages are evident for low-decile (1 – 4) schools, especially for Maori.

It recommends that more investigation should be sought by the Ministry of Education, as well as by independent researchers, to gain further insight into the single-sex advantage which is, as the researcher describes, “as a phenomenon, unequivocal”.

Key findings from the study can be found here. This feature article published in Education Review last year may also be of interest.

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