Girls outperform boys in all subjects except technology and outdoor education, in South Australia.
Girls outperform boys in all subjects except technology and outdoor education, in South Australia.

Girls outdoing boys at school a "disgrace" needing attention

THE headmaster of one of Adelaide's most prestigious boys schools says the gap between boys' and girls' academic results, especially within co-ed schools, is a "disgrace" - yet no-one is doing anything about it.

Prince Alfred College headmaster Bradley Fenner told an international conference that some experts still denied boys and girls learned differently and benefited from being separated in their schooling.

"If that is so, how is it that co-educational schools can put boys and girls through the identical educational process and yet end up with very different outcomes?" Mr Fenner said on Thursday. "The difference in academic performance and outcomes between girls and boys at senior secondary levels - both in completion and results - is, to my mind, more than the elephant in the room.

"I think it is a disgrace, not just that it is occurring, but also that there appears to be a complete lack of interest and resolve in acknowledging, let alone addressing, the issue."

Delivering the opening address to the International Boys' Schools Coalition regional conference at PAC on Thursday, Mr Fenner said the SACE Board told him earlier this year that girls outperform boys in all subjects except technology and outdoor education.

Figures from the Good Schools Guide in 2016 suggested private single-sex schools produced more high-achieving students, but it came at a price.

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