Friday, 26 February 2010

Catch 22 - Single-sex education

A couple of blogs ago I wrote that, if we were to have a debate on single sex education we should call in this, that and the other set of experts, call a proper conference. Well, no. That was only supposing it was a genuine debate. Well, it's not. So all it needs to come to is this:

A city the size of Leeds should have at least one state all-girls and one all-boys high school. As it happens we still have Parklands, a good-sized school, successful against quite some odds [including bad press from its own education company]. Never mind the Catch 22 - if you believe that they want to kill you, you can't be mad, because they are obviously trying to kill you. As far as Parklands goes, this translates into:

You can only get extra money for support if you are deemed not good enough to fly alone; once you are good [which Parklands is now - officially] you are no longer eligible for the extra support, which made you officially good in the first place. And Eddie Leo argues, with no evidence to back this up, that, once the extra support is withdrawn, the school inevitably will not be able to sustain its improvements.

So here we have a good [by anybody's standards] all girls' school, a little jewel in a big city's crown. With this school, we have attracted and would continue to attract Muslim academics and their families to this city, if speakers from the floor at the "consultation" meeting are to go by. At a time when there are east-west tensions, what a credit to us in Leeds it is that Parklands is able not just to offer a single sex school to the daughters of Asian families, but to do it in such a way that they work alongside local English [white/black/mixed-race] girls.

As they might say about religion - If there wasn't a Parklands, you would have to invent her.

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