Last week, students throughout the UK received their GCSE results. Following a pattern regularly seen in recent years, girls on average achieved better exam scores than boys, but for the first time in a while, boys showed signs of catching up to their female counterparts.
Independent school pupils also continued to outperform students who had attended state institutions, indicating that investing in a child’s education can lead to better exam results.
So, does this mean that girls’ GCSE scores are reflective of the sum their parents have invested in their upbringing?
Boys vs girls
Not necessarily – research carried out in 2013 by Halifax Bank found that it costs approximately £10,000 more to bring up a son than a daughter.
The bank’s Cost of Children report saw 1,000 UK parents being questioned, leading to the estimate that it costs £105,963 to raise a boy, in comparison to the £93,016 required to raise a girl.
Halifax said: “Boys are more likely than girls to need items of uniform replacing more frequently due to wear and tear than girls, and with a greater number of extracurricular sports favoured by boys, the cost of buying and replacing the kit for these can add up.”
But are parents getting a good return on their investment in their child’s upbringing when it comes to exam results?
What the results show
In 2015, there was a slight increase in the number of 16-year-olds awarded A* to C grades, with 69 per cent gaining these scores, figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications show.
Almost three-quarters (73.1 per cent) of girls were awarded at least a C grade, in comparison to 64.7 per cent of boys. This is a gap of 8.4 percentage points, indicating progress from last summer, when the gender gap stood at 8.8 perc