Schools deny running sexist taster classes

Parent accuses schools of gender stereotyping in Year 4 taster classes

Mark Smulian

school cookery

Two grammar schools have denied a parent’s complaint that they organised sexist taster classes for local Year 4 children.

A Lincolnshire parent said Spalding Grammar School, which is for boys, and Spalding High School, for girls, offered learning experience classes that differed by gender.

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She said her nine-year-old daughter was distressed to discover that girls from her primary school were offered cookery and drama while boys could do design and technology.

The parent commented on Twitter: “I think this letter [from the schools] that came home with an upset nine-year-old girl today shows that as a country/society we have not progressed in 30 years.”

In a joint statement, the two schools said that to help pupils transition to secondary education they “work together to provide a range of experiences, including an opportunity for local pupils to spend part of a day with us”.

It said that across 10 days more than 700 pupils from 24 schools had taken advantage of this, and had “experienced the full range of subjects available at both schools; the actual subjects offered on any given day is simply dependent on the availability of staffing and resources.

“We have received, as we do every year, a huge amount of positive feedback about this initiative and it is a shame that our intentions have been misinterpreted in this way,” the school added.

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Mark Smulian

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