THE WORLD THIS WEEK
Girls keep boys from doing well in English in UK schools
Boys in primary schools do lots better in English tests if they’ve been taught the subject in classes with fewer girls, according to a study. Researchers looking at every state school in England found that as numbers of girls rose, boys did less well. They reckon it’s because girls tend to be good at English, and ask questions, taking up the teacher’s attention and time. That means boys might be able to hide in the background and do less work. Other experts think more work needs to be done before they start splitting up boys and girls.