Single-sex education versus co-education

This report, published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin, synthesises research on the effects of single-sex education compared with co-education. A total of 184 studies were included in the review, representing the testing of 1.6 million pupils aged 5-18 from 21 nations. Of these studies, 57 were categorised by the authors as controlled (higher quality, including controls for selection effects or random assignment).

Based on mixed-effects analyses, the controlled studies showed only trivial differences between pupils in single-sex versus co-education settings for maths and science performance, and in some cases showed small differences favouring co-education (eg, for girls’ educational aspirations).

Source: The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis (2014), Psychological Bulletin, online first February 2014.

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