Eight Western Australian schools will run at least one single sex class next year as part of a Statewide pilot study.
Education Minister Kay Hallahan today said all-girl secondary classes in maths and science would be the focus of the ground-breaking program.
Schools involved would be Albany, North Albany, Carnarvon, Eastern Goldfields, Craigie and Melville senior high schools, Lakeland high school and Cyril Jackson senior campus.
Addressing an all-girl class at Craigie Senior High School today, Mrs Hallahan said the pilot study would give educators the chance to comprehensively trial single sex classes and assess the benefits.
"There is already some evidence which shows that girls could reach higher levels of achievement in all-girl schools and classes," she said.
"Many girls lose confidence, underestimate their abilities and shy away from challenging subjects like maths and science."
The Minister said many more boys than girls undertook maths and science subjects, despite matching ability. In deciding against these subjects, girls seriously limited their choices later in life.
The pilot program, starting next year, would involve selected girls from year 8 to year 11 and would span classes for students at all academic levels.