ABSTRACT

In seeking to explain the motives for the research that forms the basis of this chapter, various factors vie for prominence. However, the overriding motive must be seen as a concern on behalf of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) regarding the increasing numbers of girls leaving girls-only schools post-16, at the end of the fifth year, to take up a sixth-form place in one of the former boys-only schools. Walford reports that while the boys-only schools increased in size, the number of girls aged 11 and over in GSA/GBGSA schools fell significantly between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s. Concern over the increasing numbers of girls leaving girls-only schools post-16 was important in influencing the GSA’s final decision to fund a researcher to evaluate the effects on girls’ academic achievement of completing their studies in different types of sixth form.