23rd August 1999




Hull’s girls do significantly better at school than boys - but both the sexes are held back by structural barriers to success.


That’s the key finding of an article written by an academic at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside. Exploring gender differences in Key Stage 4 in a special gender edition of ‘The Regional Review’, John Knowles found that girls and boys in Hull continue to be hamstrung by limited aspirations and a lack of opportunity.


In his article Mr Knowles - the project officer for the Access to Higher Education project run from the university - wrote that fewer girls than boys leave school with no qualifications in the Hull area.


Using data from the Department for Education and Employment which compares Hull with England as a whole, Mr Knowles found disparities between the sexes, with the more able pupils often falling behind.


Quoting one Hull teacher, he found that “success in school [for boys] doesn’t command the same respect as misdemeanours. It’s survival of the fittest and toughest, not the best educated or most intelligent.”


“This street cred is more important to boys than academic success, and they have limited horizons,” Mr Knowles wrote.


“The picture for boys is one of resignation to a bleak future; for girls, despite better secondary educational performance, it remains one of limited aspirations and lack of opportunity.”


The article - ‘Boys on the street - girls in the school?’ - appears in ‘The Regional Review’ (Volume 9, Number 2, August 1999) published by the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Research Observatory.


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For more information contact:


Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042