Real-world preparation

There are so many advantages to an all-girls education, some of them more important than ever. But the most important benefit is the way it supports girls to live life on their own terms. Research suggests that graduates from all-girls education are more assertive and assured in mixed company than co-ed peers. They know that their voices matter and will be heard: so that is how they live their lives.


What’s obvious in all great all-girls environments is the freedom students feel to be who they are. In the absence of the gendered gaze, girls flourish. What makes all-girls environments special is the way everyone acts as if they are at home. They are funny, creative, silly, brilliant, supportive. They are themselves.

It’s also well-established that girls choose their own paths more freely and are more likely to take risks and innovate in all-girls settings. Nothing is gendered. Ask an Abbey student whether some subjects or activities suit girls more than others and they are genuinely puzzled. Why on earth would they? Why shouldn’t anyone choose to do exactly what they want?

That isn’t the experience for everyone. Across the country, only around 13% of entries to A-level Physics are girls, yet they secure around 25% of the top grades.

At The Abbey girls choose whatever they want, and are supported to fulfil their potential. There’s just more room to breathe and to live with freedom.


Girls do better in all-girls education. League tables, flawed as they are, tell this story loud and clear. All-girls schools help their students succeed. The old criticism of hot-housing is a mile off the mark. Girls’ schools are about enthusiasm, authenticity, and taking part. In that climate, girls excel.


Schools offer so many student leadership positions. In all-girls environments, this makes female leadership the natural and expected way of things. And the style of that leadership is dynamic, collaborative and supportive. It’s the kind of leadership business and society need.

Lifelong support

Every alumna of The Abbey has access to our careers network – lifelong. It includes women in every industry and profession, all of them passionate about fair representation and mutual support. In all-girls schools, girls forge friendships that often last their whole lives. The experience our girls have at school will continue to bring them benefit far into their futures.


Girls continue to experience injustice in the co-educational system. Studies show that girls receive 30% less teacher attention than boys: it is assumed they will just get on with it. Girls are also under-represented in co-educational independent schools. Because the UK has the largest and most successful all-girls system in the world, girls in independent co-education make up only 45% of the cohort, leading to a further in-built skew towards boys.

Negative gender attitudes start from the earliest days of primary school. Over a third of primary school teachers report witnessing stereotyping on a weekly basis. And when the chair of a parliamentary sub-committee investigating attitudes to women and girls at school asked, in 2023, how many girls experienced harassment, the answer was stark: ‘every single one of them, and for most it had happened in school’.

This isn’t good enough. We all know that the world girls go into was not designed equally. It is changing, but not fast enough. We believe every girl deserves to experience an environment designed with their interests in mind, so that they expect, and help to shape, an environment that is fair for all. That’s what The Abbey is for.

Find out more

The Girls’ Schools Association, Girls’ Day School Trust, and International Coalition of Girls’ Schools all have more information on the research-backed benefits of all-girls education.