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Boys better at English in single-sex classes

28 April 2008

Recent CMPO research finds that peer-group environment can have important effects on educational success. In one study boys are found to perform better at English in single-sex classes.

The effects of peer group environment on educational success have been investigated in two recent CMPO working papers. Adele Atkinson, Simon Burgess, Paul Gregg, Carol Propper and Steven Proud ('The Impact of Classroom Peer Groups on Pupil GCSE Results' CMPO Working Paper 08/187 [PDF 375KB]) find that more able peer groups have a positive effect on GCSE results.

In a second working paper, Steven Proud ('Girl Power? An analysis of peer effects using exogenous changes in the gender make-up of the peer group', CMPO Working Paper 08/186 [PDF 416KB]) reports ‘large significant negative effects of a more female peer group on boy’s outcomes in English, whilst in maths and science, both boys and girls benefit from a more able peer group up until age 11.’

Understandably these findings attracted media interest: use this link for more information about the media coverage.

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