In a recently published OECD report, the disciplinary climate in Australian schools was found to be one of the least favourable across the globe. In contrast the 2020 Alliance of Girls Schools’ Australia Report: The Girls School Edge: A comparison of outcomes for girls from single-sex and co-educational schools, cited PISA data from 2015 and 2018, which provides strong support for the contention that single-sex school students are more likely than co-educated girls to report experiencing learning environments in which they are able to fulfill their learning goals due to substantially lower amounts of disruption or distraction than their counterparts in co-ed schools. For example, a greater proportion of students attending girls’ schools never or almost never experience an English classroom in which they cannot work well compared with girls in co-educational schools (43% to 31%); more students attending girls’ schools stated they are never or almost never in a science classroom where they cannot work well (41% to 29%) and; girls at single-sex schools are also less likely to have to wait for their teacher to quiet the class before teaching (33% to 22%).

Effective student learning requires a classroom culture which is not disruptive and permits students to participate without undue distraction or inhibition. At Lowther Hall, I am proud that we intentionally work with the girls to create a positive classroom culture from Kindergarten to Year 12. Girls are taught how to participate in class and take learning risks and they are encouraged to speak up and express themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. They are facilitated to understand their role in creating a supportive and collaborative environment, which can increase motivation and engagement in learning. It is a wonderful environment in which to work and to learn.

Further reading: Fahey, G. (2023, April 15). Old-school' class management skills empower teachers. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from The Australian: E. (2023, April 11). Australian classrooms are among the ‘least favourable’ for discipline in the OECD. Here’s how to improve student behaviour. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from The Conversation: G. (2016). National School Improvement Tool. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from Australian Council for Educational Research: (2020). A comparison of outcomes for girls from single-sex and co-educational schools using PISA data. Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved April 18, 2023, from (2023). Education policy outlook in Australia. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi:

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes