What should we be doing about the achievement gap between girls and boys? School leader Caroline Sherwood discusses the impact that gender stereotyping can have and the challenges faced by schools and teachers

There has been a long-standing gender gap at GCSE for those attaining five-plus A* to C grades: since 1988, on this threshold measure, a significant gender gap in favour of girls has emerged.

This gap has grown over time and, in individual school settings, fluctuates. The national picture for 2015/16 revealed that boys underperformed compared to girls in every key stage 4 attainment measure – Attainment 8, English element, Mathematics element, and EBacc element.

The multifarious research on gender suggests that, as classroom practitioners, we should be differentiating our teaching to satisfy the demands of gender differences.

And long before we found ourselves teaching, we have been exposed to the idea of gender differences, which exist and thrive in society: gender stereotypes proliferate in the media that we are exposed to everyday from a young age: advertising, films, television, blogs, books and magazines.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here