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Parents want children to gain 'secure sense of self' at school

29/07/2011 Joanna
Parents are concerned about more than just grades when it comes to their children's schooling.

This is according to Dr Helen Wright of the Girls' Schools Association, who said this is one of the reasons that some parents send their children to single-sex schools.

"The real argument in favour of single-sex education covers the 'intangibles' about growing up and becoming a confident young adult. This includes all the things it is difficult to measure and quantify, but which, at the end of the day, form the essence of who we are as individuals," she commented.

"Unsurprisingly, parents care most about these elements of their children's education because it is these aspects which contribute most significantly to their children's happiness and confidence, as well as to their ability to make their way in the world with a strong, secure sense of self."

A recent Ofsted study revealed that girls attending single-sex schools are less likely to choose 'stereotypical' careers than people who have mixed educations.

Inspectors visited 16 primary schools and 25 secondary schools to compile the report and revealed that in many schools, careers in beauty therapy, childcare and hairdressing are the most popular options for female students.

However, it was found that this is less likely to be the case in all-girl schools, where there is a more "positive attitude towards non-stereotypical careers".

In addition, it was revealed that girls in these schools had a stronger belief that no career is closed to them and that women should be able to take on roles traditionally held by men.

"Single-sex schools create a strong space where girls and boys can learn to feel comfortable with who they are, free of the pressure to conform to stereotypical notions of how girls and boys should or should not be, look or act," Dr Wright added.

"Being apart from each other during the school day seems to give both boys and girls greater self-esteem – which is, of course, at the root of successful long-term relationships with others of both genders."

Posted by Katy Kearns



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