There are multiple advantages to single-sex schools, argues Aontú spokesperson 1 year ago

There are multiple advantages to single-sex schools, argues Aontú spokesperson


Last week, a Newstalk radio presenter argued that it is about time Ireland gets rid of single-sex schools, even calling the system completely unnatural and outdated – a view I think most of us share.

However, according to teacher and Aontú spokesperson on education, Eric Nelligan, we should keep single-sex schools – as they apparently have several advantages over mixed schools.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Nelligan explains why phasing out single-sex schools would be wrong.

"There are multiple advantages to single-sex schools, just like there are advantages to mixed schools," Nelligan explains.

"In single-sex schools, their Leaving Cert results are higher, and single-sex schools have a higher percentage of students going to third-level."

He added:

"What the OECD through the Irish Government has said is that when you remove the advantages that single-sex schools have, there is no significant difference with mixed schools. However what that doesn't say is when you don't remove the advantages that are afforded to mixed schools."

Nelligan also points out some financial differences:


"For instance, did you know that 70 percent of single-sex schools receive Government funding that support them through the day," he revealed.

"So that means the 30 percent balance has to be made up by the school. However mixed schools, State-funded schools, receive 90 percent - so what you're seeing is there is a massive financial incentive."

Different learning styles

The teacher and Aontú spokesperson on education also suggested that boys and girls have different learning styles, and that this isn't taken into account as much in mixed schools.

"Another major advantage of single-sex schools is that the pupil-teacher interactions are superior, according to research," Nelligan revealed.

"Interactions in RE classes and classes where you discuss motions on personal things is superior. Pupil participation in PE is far superior in single-sex schools than it is in mixed schools."

What do YOU think, parents? Would you be in favour of phasing out single-sex schools? Or keeping the system as is – despite Ireland being one of the very few countries outside the Arab world to still have schools that are segregated between girls and boys?