Single sex education is still present in Spain’s school panorama within a predominantly coeducational environment. Although there are some pieces of research from English-speaking countries on the reasons for promoting or maintaining this model of schooling, there are no studies from Spain.
The proposed objective of this research is to examine in depth the reasons and moti‑ vations —pedagogical and otherwise— for creating or maintaining separation by sexes in single-sex schools in Spain, and —in the principals’ perceptions— discover the good practices used in these schools and their outcomes.
This work is based on qualitative analysis of twelve indepth interviews with principals of these schools, which were recorded, transcribed, and processed using the Atlas.ti program. The analysis of the results enabled us to reach a variety of conclusions: separation is viewed as a practice that favours the objectives of individualised education; single-sex schooling, within an appropriate educational plan, delivers advantages in areas such as gender equality or academic excellence; it makes it possible to meet a wish of the families; the inclusion of training plans for equality in these schools is a general practice.
It is also apparent that the educational importance of teaching staff as gender role models to achieve greater equality of opportunities is valued.