Equality

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Treating all children equally

Notre Dame High is the only council-run school in Scotland where children are refused entry because of their gender.

The result is that all children, both boys and girls, attending catchment primary schools are uniquely disadvantaged because they are not treated equally.

Girls have no right to local co-education

Boys are excluded from their local school

Siblings and classmates of different genders are separated.

Gender equality in the 21st century

Non-standard schools are traditionally aimed at nurturing a particular characteristic, (sport, music/language) or protecting a characteristic to enhance equality (disability/disadvantage).

Historically, it is the latter category that Notre Dame High was placed within. Notre Dame has a proud history. It has educated generations of girls in a society that had, in the past, created obstacles to their learning.

This past contribution is not in question, however, times have changed. In the 21st century, girls in mainstream education in the UK are no longer at a disadvantage. In fact, girls now outperform boys academically at all levels. In 2016, 35% more girls were going to university than boys, and that gap continues to widen. A girl born in 2016 is 75% more likely to go to university than a boy.

In an environment where girls are no longer disadvantaged in education, the question must be, what is the benefit of gender segregation in schools?

Decades of research has found no academic advantage to single sex schooling, however there is evidence that gender segregation increases gender stereotyping and sexist attitudes.

Recent advances in neuroscience have thoroughly debunked the myth that girls and boys learn differently and therefore should be taught differently or separately.

In this context, a state funded girls-only school is no longer justified. Particularly one that is designated as a local area school but excludes half the children in its’ catchment area because of their gender.

Co-education fosters co-operation and understanding between the sexes. It allows boys and girls to learn together and learn to live together, preparing them for the realities of life beyond the school gates.

Children who learn together learn to live together.

How can boys and girls engage with each other in conversation and make informed descisions about consent, body image, gender identity and toxic masculinity when half the population aren’t allowed at the table?

By treating all our children equally, regardless of gender, we teach them the very foundations of true gender equality.

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