One step forward, several back

9th January 2009 at 00:00

The Willesden and Brent Times reports that Edutrust is proposing to replace John Kelly Boys' and John Kelly Girls' schools with two single-sex academies, one specialising in maths and technology and the other in languages and technology. There are no prizes for guessing which will be which.

This horrific prospect takes me back to the 1950s and early 1960s when I, like many girls at co-ed schools, was refused permission to do woodwork and metalwork and instead forced to do the appropriate "girls" subjects of cookery and sewing.

I was the first girl to take physics at A-level at my grammar school. I dropped chemistry after a few weeks because of the constant complaints by the teacher that "girls shouldn't do science".

Is all the work done by teachers to try to stamp out sexism and racism in schools to be thrown aside by the unaccountable, undemocratic "back to the future" sponsors of academies?

I'm appalled.

Jane Eades, Retired maths teacher, London.

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