• The benefits of an all-girls education by Jacqui Northcote-Green

    Director of Consulting Jacqui Northcote-Green reflects on the pros of an all-girls education. 

    I have often been asked what the advantages of a single sex girls’ education are and these have often been debated in public. Having worked in girls’ boarding and day schools, and also in boys’ and coeducational schools, I feel in a position to offer my own point of view.  

    Each school is different and finding the right school for the individual child can be a challenge. A girls’ school offers a safe learning environment for a girl to take risks, put her head above the parapet, and not be lost in the crowd. 

    In a similar vein, there is something to be said for decreased distractions. Without the complications of bringing in a social life influence into a working environment, or actively incorporating the differences between girls and boys, there could be a greater ability for focus. School is school, without added interference. 

    It is well documented that girls participate less actively and vocally in a mixed classroom, for several reasons. It is crucial that students feel confident enough to express themselves, offer answers and enter into debate as they learn. Boys tend to speak up more in class and this can hinder girls’ contributions. 

    Leadership opportunities in girls’ schools allow sometimes more reticent students to mentor, direct and show initiative in an encouraging environment, where they are not pitted against their male counterparts.  

    There will be plenty of time at university and beyond where girls can compete in a more aggressive, mixed world but the girls’ school will by then have given them real confidence and, bolstered by sound academic and supercurricular success, they will be equipped to excel. 

    About Jacqui: Jacqui is a graduate of Durham University and has worked for over 20 years in a number of top independent schools, including Dulwich College, City of London School for Girls and St Mary’s Calne. She specialises in the teaching of French and Italian at all levels. Her experience at two girls’ schools as Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head saw her preparing students for university applications, in both an academic and pastoral capacity. She has been involved in school admissions processes at all levels of entry. She is familiar with both day and boarding schools, single sex and coeducational schools, in London and elsewhere. 

    For details on how Jacqui can help your child find the right school for him or her, please email kate.f@hollandparkeducation.com or call 02070340800.

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