The Benefits of an All-Girls MLC Education

Friday, 28 February 2020

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There is ample research confirming the many positive effects of a single-sex education for girls. Overall, girls attain higher academic and life outcomes as a result of their all-girls education. An MLC education allows our girls to benefit both academically as well as socially and emotionally through our focus on girl-centric teaching and learning, values development and positive psychology, where our girls develop a strong compass for life.

MLC fosters a culture of strong academic achievement without the social pressure from boys. This is particularly crucial in the lower senior school years when the focus on identity development is at its peak. Our girls are encouraged to pursue a variety of pathways, including ATAR, Vocational Education and a blended model as well. Girls at MLC are able to thrive academically, as without the distractions and demands of boys in their learning settings they are able to more readily develop their confidence, become more assertive, and feel free to compete and take risks in their learning. In an all-girls setting, learning opportunities are tailor-made to suit the learning styles of girls, and girls are more likely to take gender atypical subjects which means they are more likely to study STEM subjects. Research confirms that girls, in fact, do better in Mathematics and Science in a single-sex setting. MLC academic results over many years corroborate this with MLC girls being included in the top performing students across Mathematics and all six Science subjects on a regular basis.

All-girls schools also have a higher proportion of girls engaging in sports than in co-educational settings. At MLC we strongly encourage our girls to get involved and have a go at a variety of sports. This assists our girls in developing a sense of belonging and a strong sense of commitment to their teams and houses through their participation and is also a way of staying fit and healthy – both physically and emotionally. The rate of participation of MLC girls in sport has had a continual upward trajectory, with approximately 70% of students participating in more than 15 sports.

One of the most significant advantages for girls in a single-sex school is leadership development as all student leadership positions are held by girls. At MLC, leadership development occurs across the Junior and Senior schools, allowing girls to develop their capacity as leaders and for older girls to role model great leadership for the younger girls.

The mental health of our young people is an important consideration. An all-girls education provides many benefits for girls in terms of their social and emotional health. Girls have a more positive learning setting in the absence of sexist banter and sexual harassment which is far more prevalent in a co-educational setting. Girls also benefit by being able to develop a more positive body ideal without the peer pressure that occurs in a co-educational school.

At MLC we appreciate the need to offer our girls the very best opportunities and we do this through our all-girls approach. We also balance this with many opportunities for interaction with other schools, in particular CCGS, Scotch and Hale. Our close proximity with our neighbours at Christ Church allows for ‘crossing the fence’ classes for our Year 11 and 12 students where MLC and CCGS students can select up to two subjects from the other campus to study. This has multiple benefits as it allows our students to select from a vast range of subjects along with helping to prepare our girls for the mixed setting of university and work which they will enter post MLC. MLC girls are also involved in Music and Drama activities with CCGS, Scotch and Hale, along with service to the community. Our younger students also have multiple opportunities to socialise and learn with the boys from CCGS throughout the year. This allows the girls the best of both worlds and helps to prepare them well for success post-MLC.

Currently in Australia, there is a trend away from single-sex schools. This is predominantly due to finances. Running an independent school is an expensive undertaking and enrolments are vital to the sustainability of any school. By limiting enrolments to one gender, schools are effectively halving their possible intake, hence many schools now becoming co-educational. If the current trend continues, there will be no single-sex schools left in Australia by 2035.

At MLC we value and understand the importance of providing our girls with the very best opportunities in order to set them up for highly productive and successful lives in whichever fields they pursue. We are commitment to a single-sex education for our MLC girls. We know this will allow them to be their very best and to become highly successful women and leaders in the years ahead.