Today, it was reported that a girls’ state school in Bradford has been criticised by Ofsted for only employing female teachers. Feversham College, a Muslim school, has been told to hire positive male role models for its 664 girls, aged 11-18, who currently have an ‘all-female learning environment’.Before some of our womyn readers hyperventilate, please note the sex of the author of the piece--and her position. She has to walk the walk.
Its head teacher has stated that the school - which used to be private - was established "in response to parental demand for single-sex education based on religious beliefs" and said the policy had been accepted when the it applied for voluntary-aided status in 2001.
That may be. But, as Chief Executive of the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) - a group of 26 independent schools and academies in England and Wales - I can't help but agree with the Ofsted report. Simply, we can’t argue for diversity in the boardroom and then not allow it in the staffroom.
Girls’ schools have long been at the forefront of extending opportunities for young women. We expect, quite rightly, that no doors will be closed to the girls leaving us at the end of their school lives this month and going on to university, or the world of work.
So it would be hypocritical in the extreme - not to mention incompatible with equal opportunities legislation - for us to argue that teaching, or senior leadership roles, in girls’ schools should be female-only enclaves.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Diversity in the Classroom
A refreshing take. I'm not quite sure where I stand on same-sex classrooms, I don't know if there are any reputable studies on the subject, but I'm certainly open to parental choice. But how far should that choice go in public schools?