Parents pressure Notre Dame High to end single sex education

Scotland’s only state-funded all girls’ school is under pressure from parents to finally admit boys.

Notre Dame High School in Glasgow’s Hillhead area is one of seven single sex schools remaining in the country – all the others are independently funded.

A consultation document drafted by concerned parents, outlining the ways in which their children were being failed by the current system, was tabled at a Notre Dame Parent Council meeting on Tuesday.

Notre Dame Primary School, which acts as a feeder for the secondary education institution, currently only sees its female pupils move up while boys must find an alternative.

Maureen McKenna, executive director for education services at Glasgow City Council, sympathised but said bringing about change may be difficult: “I agree that in the 21st century it might appear that having a single sex school is inappropriate.

“However, to change the entry requirements for any school requires a statutory consultation under the Schools’ Consultation Act (2010). This would require an educational benefit to be identified.”

Notre Dame is a high performing school with 93% attainment at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 4 or better.

Pupils who attend single sex schools perform better in exams than those at co-ed schools according to educational analysis website School Dash.

However, parents of pupils studying at the primary school believe their sons should have the same opportunity as the girls to continue their educational development without disruption.

Ms McKenna said: “If there was a sufficiently strong view coming from parents to change the entry requirement then we would give this serious consideration.”

The issue was brought to the attention of the parent council after a parent had asked Hillhead councillor Martha Wardrop to make enquiries on their behalf.

Joint vice chair of the parent council Monica McCabe confirmed the item was up for discussion but declined to reveal details of the conversation or how the parent council would move forward.


Photo: AKM Adam, Flickr Creative Commons

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