GSA Research Analyses Findings of PISA 2022 through the Girls’ Schools Lens

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 survey reveals gender gap in attainment widens for girls in some subjects. The gap between boys and girls may be widening in mixed schools but this is not true of girls in girls’ schools who consistently buck the trend.

Donna Stevens, Girls’ Schools Association CEO, comments on OECD PISA 2022 survey:

“This makes for sobering reading. All pupils’ scores in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have all fallen since 2018, with average scores lower UK-wide this year in Maths, Reading and Science.

It’s particularly worrying to see the gender gap in attainment widen for girls in some subjects. Boys have higher average scores for Maths and Science, and the UK scores show even larger differences than in all OECD countries on average – notably the widening gap between girls’ and boys’ in Science performance since 2015 in England which has been driven by larger drops in girls’ performance than the drop in boys’ performance.

The gap between boys and girls may be widening in coeducational schools but this is not true of girls in girls’ schools which consistently buck the trend. We know in GSA schools that at A level our pupils are 2.5 times as likely to study Further Maths, and twice as likely to study Physics and Computer Science. Girls in single sex schools achieve particularly high grades in single science GCSEs in comparison to mixed schools; in 2022 67% of girls from single sex schools achieved a grade 7 or higher in GCSE Physics, for example.

Girls’ innate talents, interests and ambitions have never been in question; our schools are filled with intellectually curious and talented mathematicians and scientists. It’s increasingly clear that a girls-only education is the best one to help girls achieve their life’s ambitions. We need more girls’ schools – I want to see every girl have the best chances and opportunities for her life.”

Read PISA 2022 report and the full GSA analysis.