BY Ryan McDougall | November 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

notre dame

Notre Dame pupils speak out against co-educational changes

Pupils and parents of Scotland’s last state-funded all-girls school are continuing to campaign for and against the school becoming co-educational.

Pupils of Notre Dame High School, an all-girls Catholic school in Glasgow’s West End, protested outside Glasgow City Chambers on Monday November 4 about the proposed introduction of boys to the school.

The pupils have been backed by the Notre Dame Parent Council, while the Notre Dame High For All Parents Group are support the co-educational change.

 

Council backs change

On October 25, the SCO revealed that the SNP group on Glasgow City Council, the Green Party and the Conservatives are all expected to vote in favour of admitting boys to the school on November 28.

In a statement released by the Notre Dame High School Pupil Representative Group, pupils spoke of how the Sisters of Notre Dame travelled to Glasgow in 1897 to establish the all-girls’ school, stating they ‘hope to continue this legacy.’

The statement said: “We believe that being in an all-girls school enables us to grow to our full potential.

All faiths and cultures are embraced and respected, bringing girls from all over our city. We have a great ethos, encouraging everyone to try their very best, and this helps make us amongst the highest performing Catholic schools in Glasgow. We do not believe it should change.”

 

Status quo

The statement added that more girls are applying to come to the school each year, demonstrating a desire for an all-girls’ school in the city.

Kath Brough of the school’s Parent Council stated that over 95% of parents who have children at the school do not want the criteria to change, and that locally based boys have the option to attend St Thomas Aquinas Secondary.

She added that costs would also be an issue, stating council officials said it would cost at least £750,000 to adapt toilet facilities at the school.

She said: “The ramifications will impact on the hundreds of families who actively choose to send their girls there, with potential further negative impact on secondary schools in the same learning community.”

 

Reconsider

She added: “We implore all Glasgow City Councillors to reconsider this and give proper consideration to the Education Scotland report. Regardless of the outcome, Notre Dame High Parent Council will seek to continue to represent the voices of our school community and support pupils and teaching staff in keeping with the ethos and inclusive approach of the school.”

Glasgow City Council has published an advisory document, stating the school would become co-educational over the course of five years.

The Notre Dame High For All Parent group has welcomed the news.

Jill Grady of NDH4All said: “We hope that the City Administration Committee approves the recommendation and brings to an end exclusion of children from their local catchment school because of their gender.

“We are confident that Notre Dame High will have a bright future as a fully inclusive and welcoming school, reflecting all that is best of modern Glasgow. This is a fantastic day for equality.”

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