Choosing between a single-sex or mixed school can create a dilemma
for children and parents.
Parents often feel their children will be able to work harder at a
single-sex school with fewer distractions; but what do young people
themselves say about single sex schools? Are girls more confident of
their abilities without boys around? Do boys concentrate more
without girls to distract them?
My primary school, like most, was mixed so I thought with all girls
it would be a bit weird.
But now I prefer going to an all-girls school. With boys around I
wouldn’t be able to work as hard. My dad prefers it that there are
There’s no one to impress at a girls school. People come in and
say: “Oh, I just got out of bed”. But that’s all right because
there’s nobody to look good for. You can look bad at school and
when you go out you can show everyone how good you can look.
If we did have a mixed school, I think by year 11 you’d be bored of
the boys anyway. You’d have already been out with every single one
My mates go to mixed schools, so that’s how I meet most of my
girls. I know people who, because they don’t have links with girls,
don’t get to talk to them or won’t just go up and talk to them.
They don’t meet girls through school, so don’t really end up going
out with girls. There’s nothing wrong with them though.
Mature boys probably end up getting more girls. More childish boys
will hang out with their mates rather than go out with girls. When
you’re higher up in the school you get more confident about talking
The main advantage of going to an all-boys school is there are
fewer distractions, I’d say. With girls around I think we’d be more
mouthy to the teachers, trying to show off. At a boys school you
can act yourself. It’s much easier to relax. Boys don’t show off in
front of each other.
When you’re in year seven you’re just happy being with your mates.
But when you start seeing your mates talking to girls you think,
“I’ve got to try that”. You just get interested in talking to girls
and then you get addicted!
Being in an all-girls school you can associate with your friends
more. Boys distract you. At a girls school you can be closer to
your friends, without being interrupted by boys. Although, being
just girls, there are lots of arguments.
We have discos with the local boys schools. I’ve been to some of
them but I can’t be bothered with them anymore. Meeting boys isn’t
really the most important thing right now.
Boys worry about girls too much sometimes. That’s all they care
about really. But we know how to control ourselves.
When I’m older, it’s all going to depend on my education, so I’m
just looking towards that really. I know I’ll meet boys through
other stuff, like my youth club and the pantomime I’m in. You might
not meet boys in secondary school, but you’ll make friends with
them at university or at work, so I wouldn’t be too worried about
it at the moment.
We have discos with boys’ schools, but not many. But it’s better
like that. It makes you want to go to them more. Boys are
distracting, but they probably say the same things about