Why a Government girls' school?

Canterbury Girls' Secondary College is one of only five government girls' schools in Victoria. It continues to provide an outstanding education for girls as it has for the past 92 years.

The educational research has shown the benefits of attending a government school. At Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College, we are very proud of the fact that we are a government school offering a quality education for girls. The strengths of government schools have been shown through a number of studies:

  • In 2014 a study found that Australian private schools produce no better results than public schools, when students' socio-economic backgrounds are taken into account.  According to the study, Stéphane Mahuteau and Kostas Mavromaras, academics at the National Institute for Labour Studies at Flinders University, conducted the latest study, which found a strong and positive association between the socio-economic status of a student and their test scores.  The core result of the paper is that, after controlling for a number of school and student characteristics, "school quality does not depend directly on the sector of the school". The main determinant of the higher raw test scores observed in private schools is the higher socio-economic status (SES) of students attending private schools, the report found.  The data indicates the main determinant of higher scores in non-Government schools is the higher socio economic status of the students that choose to go to non-Government schools. Those higher raw scores are "not the result of an inherent higher quality of non-Government schools. It is rather the result of the more privileged high socio economic status students self-selecting into non-Government schools and taking their existing advantage with them to these schools", the report says.” (from http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/fourth-study-this-year-confirms-private-schools-no-better-than-public-20141109-11jlgn.html).
  • Paying private school fees does not guarantee a better job after university, with new research showing there is no long-term employment advantage as public school graduates earn as much in equally prestigious jobs. A research fellow at Canberra University, Jenny Chesters, analysed data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia project and found private school students were no more likely to get a full-time job than public school students. (from http://www.smh.com.au/national/private-schooling-no-better-than-public-in-jobs-market-20140816-104do1.html)
  • State school graduates do better at university than private school graduates with the same end-of-school tertiary entrance score.(from http://theconversation.com/state-school-kids-do-better-at-uni-29155)
  • Professor Damien Kingsbury, of the School of International and Political Studies at Deakin University, says he has noticed a difference between students from public and private schools at an undergraduate level. "A common experience is that kids who come from private schools tend to be used to being spoonfed a little bit more and are not quite as independent in their study habits," he says. "A good student from public education will generally be a more robust student at undergraduate level," says Professor Kingsbury. (from http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/01/08/3665845.htm)

The educational research has shown that the benefits of attending a girls' only school include:
Girls who attend a single-sex school are more likely to stay in education.
Students at girls' only schools make more progress than those in co-ed schools.
Students who are struggling make greater progress if they are in a single sex school.

The research has also found that single sex schools create an environment in which girls can express themselves freely and frequently and develop higher order thinking skills.

Professor Cornelius Riordan of Providence College who has conducted research into single sex education argues that single sex schools help to improve students' achievement. In particular she cites a range of factors for this outcome, including strong role models, reduced stereo types in curriculum and classroom interaction and an abundance of leadership opportunities.

A recent study into girls' education, conducted by UCLA in the US, found that female students of single sex high schools demonstrate stronger academic orientations than their co-educational counterparts across a number of different categories, including higher levels of academic engagement, and confidence in mathematical ability and computer skills.

It also found that female graduates of single sex high schools show higher levels of political engagement, greater interest in engineering careers, measurably more self confidence in public speaking and a stronger predisposition towards co-curricular engagement.

At Canterbury Girls' Secondary College, we believe that the opportunities available to students maximise their academic achievements, maximise their social and emotional growth and well being, and provide a strong basis as they move beyond school.

Through constant monitoring and evaluation of our programs, we work to ensure that the educational and co-curricular programs enable the young women at the College to develop their self-esteem and leadership skills, enhance their understanding of the world around them and undertake an academic program which is rigorous, demanding and reflects the different learning needs of individual students.



Term 3

2 Sep 2021

Music Night

Besen Centre, 7:30 PM


Term 4

29 Nov 2021

Canterbury Celebrates,

Besen Centre



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Term Dates 2021

Term 1

28 January - 01 April


Term 2

19 April - 25 June


Term 3

12 July - 17 September


Term 4

4 October - 17 December



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