Should Notre Dame Become A Mixed School?Article 28 of the Essay

Should Notre Dame Become A Mixed School?

Article 28 of the UN Convention of the rights of the child states that “Every child has the right to an education.” Education is a right that is enshrined in our country. Education is an important tool to help us reach our full potential which is why everybody is entitled to have one. It plays a major role in how we shape the world that we live in. But it wasn’t specified that education should be taught in mixed or single sex schools.

Recently, Glasgow’s Notre Dame High School has confronted this controversy as calls have been made for boys to be admitted to the school. Founded in 1897, it is the only single sex state school left in Scotland and is one of the top performing schools in the country. Some feel that it should be protected and preserved as it is a special institution. Those who are calling for their sons to be admitted are accusing the school of discrimination.

People want it to remain a single sex school to prevent the girls’ grades from suffering. Some of us would also argue ‘why should we let them in now?’ We have been an all-girls school for so long, why should now be the time to finally change that. There have been many who have tried before but none have been successful. I believe that it is because we are a top performing school, parents would want to send their boys here and it may be convenient for some parents as they may live close to the area or their daughters come here, or their boys went to Notre Dame Primary so some would say it would make sense for them to be sent here. They also might be trying to change things this time as there have been so many protests and movements and campaigns around the world to try and change things that we think isn’t good for us and the environment for example the #MeToo campaign and campaigns for an independence recently especially in this year of 2018, so it’s created this mood of protests for people.

But perhaps the whole debate will soon be irrelevant, as gender politics evolve. Currently, single sex schools are having to change the way they operate due to an increase in transgender pupils. In the future, will it even be possible to have a single sex school as more and more people present as gender neutral, or gender fluid? An article by Adi Bloom stated that “Some young people have friendship groups and staff they trust, and want to stay at the same school, because they feel supported.” Recently that has been the case for a small number of transgender pupils at Notre Dame. We claim that having boys come to our school breaks our tradition of being an all-girls school but technically it is already broken as we technically do have boys at the school. Now I’m not saying that they should kick out transgender pupils (that would be discrimination), all I’m saying is that they look at their situation carefully.

School is not only about learning in the academic field. Socialisation is an important aspect of education, and many people feel that mixing with the opposite sex from a young age provides valuable life skills in preparation for the wider world. BBCs’ article, Girls ‘get better GCSE results in all-girl schools’ states that “Earlier this month, Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, said girls at single-sex schools would be at a “huge disadvantage” if they could not feel confident talking to boys.” Another article from the guardian, single-sex schools offer no advantages and feed stereotypes psychologists told, stated that “we don’t have sex-segregated workplaces so why would we have sex-segregated schools” and “After graduation, virtually everyone will work for and with females and males- students need to learn mutual respect and the social skills of interacting.” It is key for us to learn and have the confidence to socialise with each other, it doesn’t matter the religion, background, race especially gender, we should be able to communicate with one another easily to help shape the world into a better place. There are no single sex colleges or universities and yet most of us are heading there so it would be good if we were able to socialise with one another to prepare ourselves for higher education and the workplace.

However, studies have shown that there are some benefits to single sex education. In the BBC article, Girls ‘get better GCSE results in all-girl schools’ states that “Girls can be more confident in themselves, they don’t have to become a particular type of girl, they’re able to relax more…” it also said “And an all-girl environment allowed them to “escape gender stereotyping”, by, for example, encouraging more girls to pursue science subjects” and “ We found that girls from single-sex schools were more likely to take male- dominated subjects such as maths and science at school. Girls who had attended single-sex schools also had slightly higher wages then their co-ed peers in mid-life,” said a professor. This shows that girls are more free to be themselves as they don’t have any intimidation/distraction from boys. It also shows that there is a more positive learning environment as we are encouraged more to do subjects that boys tend to dominate helping to build our self-esteem and bring benefits to our lives as we get older.

So, if we were to let boys in, it would mean quite a lot of drastic measures would have to be taken into consideration. We would have to change the uniform, changing rooms and toilets which could cost the school quite a lot of money. It would take the school a good amount of time to come up with a way to let them in because we already have a lot of girls in the school and it wouldn’t be the best if they sent some elsewhere. But some of the girls’ parents did send them there because they wanted them to not be around boys to stop them from being distracted and to focus on their education so if boys were to come, some might go to different single sex schools. They really have to prepare themselves for this change, if they let them in that is.

Looking at both sides, I think if we want to remain an all-girls school, we should as we are the only all girls state school in Glasgow and we perform better which makes us special. We feel comfortable around each other building our self-esteem and we have this special bond. And we have no distractions and there isn’t that much intimidation. There are other public schools that are mixed that boys can go to and some of them are top performing also. I understand where some are coming from especially about us not really being an actual all-girls school due to transgenders attending which is why if we do want boys to come to the school they could as there are many good reasons why they can. But I personally think we should stay an all-girls school due to the positive things (that are listed above) it brings.

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