Boys might do better in same sex classes

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London, Apr 27 (UNI) Primary school boys might do better in English tests if they are in same sex classes, according to a study.

Research from Bristol University, which used data from every state school in Britain, found that as the proportion of girls rose, results achieved by their male classmates fell.

Researcher Steven Proud concluded, ''It might be beneficial for boys to be educated in single-sex classes in English.'' He argued that girls tended to be ahead of boys in English and so were more likely to answer questions, raise their hands and behave confidently in lessons. ''Boys studying alongside a large number of girls find it easier to hide in the background,'' he added.

In his working paper, Proud said the results implied ''that boys would benefit at all ages from being taught English in English schools with as small a proportion of girls as possible.'' Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said, ''Boys who were a minority in a class could feel swamped by the high-attaining girls.'' Margaret Morrissey, of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations said, ''I suspect that when there are fewer boys they are not going to feel as confident to put their hands up and are worried they will look silly if they get it wrong.'' UNI XC SKB BST1753

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